Ghana stands tall among many countries in the world; and among the things that distinguishes it so well is its peaceful and welcoming environment. That Ghana has an enviable record on peace cannot be over emphasized in any form. Indeed, Ghana is credited with a substantial level of democratic peace making it an envy of many states.
There is however a question of how this peace can be sustained, and made to benefit a larger society including Ghana’s neighbouring countries. It is important that all hands get involved and make this comes to reality. The role of the media on this agenda cannot be over emphasized. The media, being a key driver of solutions to society’s challenges needs to play more active roles towards the peace of society.
Factors contributing to the current peace in Ghana include political, tribal, religious and ethnic reasons.
When pandemonium breaks loose, it isn’t the one who sparked up the chaos the only one who suffers but everyone in the nation. War break homes, destroy properties, causes separation of loved ones, among others. Little and unsuspecting things like subjecting another’s personality, religion, tribe, culture or political party to inferiority can sparkle long lasting wars.
Just like the way fire sparks from one small corner and spreads fast across an entire area within a short time that is how war often begins and spreads fast. It is difficult to stop war when it starts.
This is the reason why all stakeholders must be concerned and ensure that they live in harmony always without tempering with the current peace of the society.
Peace is enviable, some countries yearn for the peace we enjoy as a nation.
Ghana is blessed with personalities who are quite provocative when it comes to making their political and tribal analysis or debates, yet the peace of the country has remained intact and that alone is reason enough to celebrate.
Unlike other countries, after about 25 years of democratic governance and Seven generally peaceful elections, despite the misunderstandings, minor conflicts and petty quarrels Ghanaians are still enjoy our peace. The people have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate that they value their peace at all times.
In fact, we have learnt not to play the blame game with who started a confusion or who made things difficult for the other. We have learnt to realize that, everyone matters and if it’s a campaign about politics, religion or ethnic issues, we respect each other’s message and not necessarily attack our opponents violently.
The various peace advocates must come out to condemn provocative statements made by politicians or any element who would in anyway or the attempts to cause Ghana its economic and social lose.
A war in Ghana will see Ghana very devastated because even in the absence of war, a great number of the citizenry are economically suffering, so what will happen after war when the nation is completely broken, destroyed.
All Ghana needs now is for peace to continue to prevail in the current atmosphere.
The peace of the country cannot be compromised for politicians or violent people.
Through this write up I am urging the youth of Ghana, the old, the elite and the academically challenged, the poor and the rich, to be cautious of the kind of dangers that can lead to conflict and take precautionary measures to prevent them from happening.
Ghana is surrounded by countries that have all witnessed or experienced wars and conflicts in recent times. In times of war, where will all the people in Ghana rush to for safety?
Let us not leave any indelible mark on the history of Ghana. Relevant agencies tasked with the responsibility of ensuring peace in Ghana, like the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, and the security agencies must continue to watch out for the nation and ensure that nothing untoward happens. Peace must remain in Ghana.
Media has a role to play in sustaining peace
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the peace that is in the country now is protected. For this peace to be sustained however, the media has a more crucial responsibility. Radio presenters, news reporters, editors, owners and managers of media houses must all make it a priority to keep preaching peace wherever they go.
Indeed, the perceptions of those who run the media shapes what the society hear and see about conflict. It is therefore important to choose the right language when communicating in order not to send the wrong signals and create panic among the populace.
The media plays several roles including that of a watchdog, gate keeper, peace builder, bridge builder, diplomat, information provider, among others.
The media mostly cover conflicts and not peace building. The tendency to cover conflict and violence distorts reality and leads many people to think that conflict is pervasive and peace is abnormal.
And so, until the causes of conflicts and the issues and dynamics are understood, peace building programming or peace keeping operations would not be effective.
The role of the media in conflict prevention and peace building in Ghana must be prioritized.
By Jeorge Wilson Kingson
The writer is the HWPL Publicity Ambassador for Ghana