Oftentimes, small disagreements between two people or communities that are ignored and not resolved promptly, lead to grave social upheavals.
We have witnessed bloodshed in different parts of the country due largely to historical differences between either, individuals, tribes or communities that have been taken for granted.
In the past two days, we have witnessed near fatal clashes at Agbobloshie, in Accra, in which guns were fired and people injured in the process.
What happened at Agbogboloshie on Tuesday and yesterday, cannot be considered as an accident and, therefore, ignored. Civil and ethnic wars have started as small feuds and degenerated into wars killing many people.
Therefore, to prevent the Agbogbloshie clashes from escalating, and turning into a fatal ethnic war, every possible means should be applied to resolve the problem now.
The clash was said to be between Dagomba and Zabrama ethnic groups, which necessitated the police to fire warning shots and tear gas to disperse the factions in order to restore calm.
From the reports, a Dagomba woman who sells tea at the market, directed her daughter to ease herself at a spot close to where the Zabramas sell their wares. The woman provoked the Zabrama man and what happened next is well known now.
Our concern is that, a small quarrel that could have been settled between two adults, resulted in a brawl, with guns being fired in the melee. But for the timely arrival of the Special Weapons and Tactical Unit (SWAT), and the Formed Police Unit (FPU), of the Ghana Police Service, the situation could have been worse.
We are alarmed that even though the security agencies were able to restore calm, tension could rise yesterday for them to return to the scene.
The Times is of the view that, there might be undercurrents surrounding this issue, that call for a thorough investigation.
We are all aware that the Agbogbloshie area, is a hot spot for violence, with many fatal clashes occuring in the past. We must therefore, not wait for the problem to escalate before we try to find a solution to it.
The clash may be described now as a violent one between two different tribes. It may not be an ethnic clash yet, but let no one underrate the fact that if the protagonists can reach for the ethnic card, it would degenerate into something bigger.
When that happens, no one would win. The country would be the loser, because we would have to use the scarce resources to restore peace.
The Times expects that leaders of the various ethnic groups involved, National Security, government officials and Members of Parliament from those areas, should be mobilised to broker peace.
It would be suicidal if we do not act decisively now, to restore law and order at Agbo-gbloshie.