The strength of every flourishing democracy can be measured with the active nature of civil society organizations within its jurisdiction.
In measuring that, one must consider their fairness to issues and the principles with which they operate. A selective civil society organization on the other hand, is a recipe for danger and a spark for violence.Ghanapoliticsonline.com
What must be noted however is that, civil society organizations are not forced to do what the people want, but they are called to do what the people expect them to do based on their previous activities.
Among all civil society organizations, those who choose to comment on political issues are those faced with controversial issues that sometimes calls to question their loyalties and principles.
Loyalties are indeed very powerful in any sphere of life. With communitarianism on hind, the interest of society is larger than that of the individual(s). But, the organization must pose a few questions in that regard. Are their loyalties to themselves, society, or to an individual or group which is sometimes skewed for parochial interest?
These initial paragraphs opens up civil society organizations in my country Ghana for scrutiny and assessment. Certain questions lingers; are their allegiances and loyalties to Ghana, to themselves or to some group of individuals? This discussion would be situated within the confines of civil society organizations that had focused their attention on political development within the country.
Many people have had cause to complain over the selectivity of civil society organisations on critical national issues. While they remain quick to hear and see mild offenses against society by one political party, they turn blind and deaf over major offenses against the Ghanaian public. This has called to question, their fairness in dealing with political issues.
Recently, a former minister of transport under the administration of John Dramani Mahama Hon. Dzifa Aku Ativor, was chastised over comments that had historical facts, and was impressed upon to retract and apologise over those comments by civil society organizations and some individuals.
The historical basis for her comments remained a fact, that, upon the ascension of the throne by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), a lot of people from her region were persecuted and jailed. In the case of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, it was reported of how the then president John Agyekum Kufour far away from the jurisdiction upon the ruling that acquitted him, retorted that he will correct the verdict. In the end, he packed the panel and eventually got Mr. Tsikata jailed.
Several others from her region suffered various fate of their own. Indeed, it was equally reported that a member of the NPP then stated clear that by the time they were done with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) the party would be no more.
On this historical grounds, stating that some of them would be targets using examples that are closed to the people, one could best understand her motivation. This was met with stiff condemnation.
Ironically, as I would take you through some events, none of these civil society organizations were able to condemn Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo a former minster who was caught on tape virtually segregating this country as though human resource meant nothing when he said only people from five resource regions namely; Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Western and Central, should qualify to be president since they are the only regions that produce resources for this country.
That is not all, these CSOs were silent over comments by a sitting member of Parliament Kennedy Agyepong where he called on people of Akan extraction to maim and kill Gãs and Ewes. This could not have been a reconciliatory statement.
Again, the country noticed a deep silence from these CSOs when a member of parliament hopeful then, referred an NDC Member of Parliament as a person coming from a region where cattle rearing was their eminent job but for free education by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
And then the bang! These same CSOs were silent when the presidential candidate of the NPP Mr. William Akufo-addo virtually declared all die be die, rallying behind his Akan identity to refer to yɛn Aknfoɔ, to wit, we Akans.
As if that was not enough, the supposed political angel had squally descended into a very dangerous realm. Dr. Bawumia the running mate to Mr. William Akufo-Addo also sought to rally around his Islamic bloc to mobilize votes. This subject had been treated on a separate platform. Yet, we can predict how civil society would deal with this matter, unless they choose to surprise us.
I have had to painfully recount these incidents for the appreciation of readers how selective people who should be holding high our moral fibre have become.
Today, there are series of electoral violence especially emanating from the strong holds of the New Patriotic Party. I cannot be tempted to believe that these CSOs have no idea what is going on. If for nothing at all, the burnt down party office of the ruling NDC could not have been done by themselves.
We have seen pictures of brutalities, injuries and other offenses that relate to elections over these few days, yet, those who should speak, have remained silent.
Would their silence have been this loud if these atrocities were emanating from the strong holds of the NDC? This certainly exposes their bias to the NDC.
We cannot continue like this. If we have civil society organizations that owe their loyalties to the society, we would be better served. Without any attempt to tag any as belonging to a political party, the actions of individuals leading those organizations are letting the people down. They have worn political lenses that do not allow them to see clearly and objectively. We need to correct them.