Election 2020: Let’s Jaw, Jaw; Not War, War

To say that we can live without conflicts is untrue. We cannot avoid conflicts; we can only manage them. Conflict are part of human life. In conflict resolution, we say that conflicts are less important than how we manage them. A country will not survive a day without grievances. Even the powerful nations struggle with their own grievances. What matters is not how much problems a country has but how well it manages them. Naturally, all human beings are different. We differ in our goals, in our experiences, in our mindsets, in our ambitions. We have different problem solving and analytical thinking prowess. What is critical is how we pursue our individual goals while still achieving our collective goals as a country. That there are problems because there are solutions. If there is no solution, there cannot be a problem. Our ability to manage our differences is critical in our forward match as a nation. And the proper way to manage our differences is through negotiations.

It is deeply concerning the brewing war between the Electoral Commission (EC) of this country and some disgruntled political parties. A concern which if not managed well can spin out of proportion. To say that it is important the EC negotiate properly with the disgruntled political parties cannot be overemphasized. To both the EC and the political parties, confrontation has no answers to your concerns, but negotiation has.  We understand that you are all acting in the best interest of mother Ghana; therefore, you have to jaw, jaw to find common solution to your concerns, and to not war, war.

Anger is a product of confrontation. And anger clouds the mind inhibiting its ability to think properly. During confrontations, ideas become less important because the feuding parties turn to contest egos instead of ideas. The struggle of the industrious Ghanaian is for a better future. But the question is what is the use of a mansion if there is no peaceful environment to put it on? The inability of the EC to sail through this evil moment can plunge this country into chaos leading the toil of the industrious Ghanaian for a better future to futility.

Out of the 195 countries in the world, the most peaceful and prosperous nations are the ones who—as a matter of principle—employ negotiation in addressing their national problems. It is also true that the poorest countries are the ones that often use confrontation as a means of addressing their national problems. The reason their decades old problems persist to this day.

Resolving our grievances through negotiation is the only viable way that produces favorable outcomes. Whenever we sit patiently around the table to contest ideas, not egos, we emerge with extraordinary solutions. Whenever we debate our disagreements honestly, we come out with best solutions.  It is a universal knowledge that no single human being is the repository of the world’s wisdom. Meaning, everyone possesses a fraction of the world’s wisdom. Therefore, everyone’s opinion counts. The EC and the disgruntled parties should have the ears to listen to one another. They should let respect lead their words as they negotiate. Only this way will they understand one another’s words and reach to a common solution.

The world could have saved the forty million lives lost to the World War I if it had used negotiation to address its grievances. The world could have saved the invaluable lives lost to the World War II if it had used negotiation, not confrontation.

Ghana is `praised over the years as the beacon of democracy because her children generally have used negotiation as a means of addressing their differences. Members of parliament debate openly on national issues, which has always led to the discovery of practical solutions to national problems.

In our communities, we hold some families in high esteem because unlike other families, the esteemed families have lived harmoniously together over the years. The secret is insanely simple: members of the highly esteemed families use negotiation, not confrontations in addressing their differences. Negotiation works for families just as it works for nations. There is still more scope for the EC and the disgruntled political parties to negotiate the way forward before the 2020 elections

RAHIM NEWTON

abdulrahimnewton@yahoo.com

 

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