Restraint must be guiding principle for all this political season
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who make their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. – Franklin D. Rosevelt.
A critical analysis of the above statement carries enormous weight.
All too soon, the time has come for eligible Ghanaian voters to exercise their franchise during the forthcoming general elections.
The stakes are extremely high and people have geared up to exercise their franchise on December 7, 2020.
The decision to choose persons in an election to govern the country rests solely on the electorate, and their right must be expressed responsibly.
While the individual takes steps to exercise this inalienable right, this must be done within the confines of the law.
It is important to note that so long as we remain humans, our decisions and choices may vary based on one’s political affiliation or for different reasons.
The electorate are going to cast their votes based on several considerations which are critically driven by their political affiliations.
In events of this magnitude, the active participation of the youth cannot be downplayed. Forming more than half of the country’s population, the decision of the youth must be viewed as very crucial in the decision making process.
Since they are often driven by youthful exuberance, they must conduct themselves very well not to fall into trouble or not fall foul of the law.
They must remember that any negative attitude to disturb the peace of the country in the name of election will not go unpunished.
The youth should keep in mind that indulging in untoward acts would surely put them in trouble.
Those who have the penchant to forment trouble or vowed to use clandestine means to bring their preferred candidates to power must be prepared to face the consequences of their actions.
They must pause and think twice about whatever action they intend to take before the reality downs on them.
The recent clashes between the adherents of the two main political parties in the country at Odododiodo give cause to worry. This should serve as an example for the youth who ought to learn useful lessons and appropriately guide themselves in society.
It should serve also as warning that if care is not taken, petty issues which cannot be resolved would degenerate into serious problems.
The political season is pregnant with statements and actions which are laden with provocative words and insults, intended to incite opponents. Such provocative statements have the potential to cause disaffection.
In such situations, the youth should develop the capacity to tolerate divergent views and contain the barrage of insults and insinuations.
This is not the time to showcase their physical capabilities and preparedness to fight.
Election is about creating a congenial atmosphere for those who wish to stand for election to exchange their views, provide credible alternatives and have what it takes to convince the electorate to vote in a particular way.
This credible avenue which has been created should not be used as a negative tool to forment violence which would disturb the peace Ghanaians are enjoying.
The political violence which occurred at Odododiodio in Accra must be condemned by all irrespective of one’s political leaning.
The youth should know that they are the future leaders of this country and must make themselves ready to assume leadership roles when the time comes.
Violence or any form of disturbance would be met with the rigid enforcement of the laws of the state. The youth should not be swayed into the path of making it possible for their political idols to come to power at all cost irrespective of the consequences.
It is incumbent on parents, guardians and those in leadership positions not to relent in their efforts to advise the youth to conduct themselves responsibly.
Through the youth may seem to be recalcitrant, the elderly have great responsibility to continue with the pieces of advice.
By Raymond Kyekye