OF POLITICS AND TRIBALISM

GRADUALLY, we are inching towards another political campaign season and the heat is already on.

All the registered political parties, particularly the major ones — the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) — are lacing their boots for the 2016 general elections.

While some have elected their national officers and aspiring parliamentary candidates, others are preparing feverishly to do so.

As always, the political atmosphere is becoming tense, and so is language that is being used by the protagonist, in the contest for political power.

Disturbingly, it appears, politicians are gradually re-introducing tribalism into our body politics and this gives cause for grave concern, especially as those making the tribal remarks are top politicians who should know the consequences.

We would have thought that we have come so far with our politics and have fashioned out a political system that gives everyone regardless of tribe, a fair opportunity in the political space.

Indeed, every sane and qualified person could be the President of Ghana, and therefore, it is needless to single out an ethnic group and run them down.

We have heard politicians calling some tribes names, while others describe some other tribes in very derogatory terms.

No doubt, those who know the history of our country would fail to appreciate how fortunate we have been, that we have remained united, despite deliberate provocations by politicians to stoke up the tribal fire.

The tribal carnage that happened in the past in La Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone and recently in Central African Republic and Burundi, cannot be lost on us.

All these countries descended into war, and thousands of citizens lost their lives due to tribalism.

We have come too far in our democratic dispensation and the least we can do is to elevate our political discourse to a level devoid of tribalism.

We are worried that politicians, in their quest for power, care little about their utterances and make unsavoury comments laced with tribalism.

The Times wishes to emphasise that tribalism poses the greatest threat to our democracy, and all those who engage in it should be resisted.

We must not tolerate any such individual or group of people and above all we must all speak out against them.

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