THE OPPORTUNITY COST OF PEACE AND STABILITY DURING ELECTIONS – VIOLENCE AND INSTABILITY.Jonilar
At least I did a little bit Economics from Secondary school level to Diploma level at the University of Cape. In fact I wanted to become an Economist but due to my poor background in Mathematics I shunned Economics at the graduate level. Throughout my little study of Economics, I was taught that resources are scarce but the needs or wants man of man are insatiable, that is they are unlimited. It will surprise you that that economics will tell you that the sea we see in its abundance is a scarce resource. The scarcity of resources and the choice of man brought about opportunity cost and scale of preferences. To solve the problem of scarcity and choice, one must have a scale of preference in which one has arranged his needs or wants in order of importance. Those needs that are highly competitive but could not be met because of scarcity of resources, is what the Economics refer to as opportunity cost. As a nation and people, we have a scale of preferences on a larger extent by making a critical decisions on individual levels which ripple effects can be seen collectively on the national level before, on or after the Election Day. Currently the opportunity cost of violence and instability is the peace and stability we are enjoying as people. In 2016 elections, we still have the chance to priorities our peace and stability or forgo it for violence and instability at the expense of power struggle between some individuals who are likely to escape to leave their followers behind if the country is plunged in crisis.
With recent arrest of cache of arms and ammunition by the Kumasi Police, the arrest of some seven others with AK47 assault rifles at Salaga and their connection to Taliban and the arrest of over one million cartridges by Customs officers at Aflao calls for serious questions and answers unless we want to play the proverbial Ostrich. It really calls for concerns. Every well-meaning Ghana should be worried about the future of this country. It appears things are falling apart and the center is not holding anymore. It is currently believed that there are more than three million arms and ammunition in the hands of wrong people in this very country. Despite the strenuous efforts our security services are putting in place to ensure that the peace and stability we are enjoying is not disturbed, people who have the lens of security will tell you that we are in a country that is sitting on a timing bomb and it is beeping with red lights. We have two critical issues that are likely to destabilize us a nation sterling at us in the face, terrorism and electoral violence. We have already picked some signals about terrorism since we have it on records that at least two Ghanaians have joined ISIS and the arrest of some seven people at Salaga who are believed to be connected to Taliban. I am not too sure that we can fight terrorism and political unrest side by side as people unless we have been able to solve tensions that is always associated with our elections first, then we can fight any intruder with a united front.
We are living in a country that is politically polarized and people with dissenting views are tagged and wrapped in political colors and demonized. That is our weakness as a nation. Objectivity does not have a play in our national discourse but rather, we applaud subjectivity as far we wear the same political colors with the person and that will destroy us as people. We also have prophets who see nothing good for this country apart from doom and destruction for this country also contributing their quotas to the tensions by giving prophecies about who will win the elections and who will lose the elections. Currently, the biggest problem confronting us as country, is the argument that whether the electoral roll should be changed or not. The electoral commission has finally come out that it will not change the electoral roll but rather clean it. It was greeted with demonstrations by a cross section of Ghanaians in UK. Some were holding placards boldly written on them that they will not go to court again. If we are not going to settle our electoral disputes in court, then where are we going? I guess we will take to the street and kill ourselves with cutlasses, guns and other offensive weapons and also burn down buildings, stores and other properties that have economic value. It is not a problem to start violence but the problem is how to stop it. It destroys like fire without favor. Just yesterday I was listening to an interview where a young man was called about to express his opinion about the EC’s decision not to change the electoral roll and he was confidently saying that the future of this country is bleak. How bleak is the future of Ama Ghana? How many of us will enjoy if people become president or loose the presidency or parliamentarians? I have seen in many cases where youths in their numbers followed political candidates and helped them to win power and after they have won, they abandoned the same people who pushed them to the top. What is the guarantee that if we plunge our country into crisis, these politicians will stay in the country for them and their families to be killed first before we follow? What shows that they will not flee and go and be somewhere to write us letters from exile? If people truly want to serve and do not have anything under their sleeves, elections in this country will not be do and die affairs. It is certainly the struggle for the big “daily bread” and the crumbles for the dog who feeds under the master’s table.
We have a role to play to maintain the peace and stability of our country because it is individuals who form the fabric of every nation. Everybody you see on the streets go home when the day is over so nations start from homes and not on the streets. We should begin reflect on future of our country from our homes whether we are ready to stand any political unrest and its future consequences. Collectively we can choose peace and fight terrorism in case it shows its ugly face in our country. It is a collective and a shared responsibility and do not be left out. We should be cured of our “political madness” before it destroy us all. It starts from you and I. We should still let violence and instability be on top of our list for opportunity cost and list peace and stability top our scale of preferences by saying no to political violence.
It’s a brand new year. May the year bring us all our dreams fulfilled and pray for Ama Ghana and some unscrupulous politicians who want nothing but the doom of our beloved country.