The peaceful Ghana that we are losing: what shall we do?

Ghana is synonymous with peace. Politicians, businessmen, traditional authorities, religious people, citizens and foreigners alike have all experienced a certain Ghana that was known for its peace. 

Somehow the citizens had mastered the art of living together peacefully. Inter-tribal marriages are common and tribes mix freely everywhere for business, festivals and funerals and people can choose to live anywhere without fear. Among other things, the boarding school system has also helped to seal the deal to reinforce tribal cohesion in our communities.

The foundation laid by our founding fathers of the first republic led by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah strategically ensured that there would be no tribal discrimination against individuals, groups, tribes or communities based on the language they speak or where they come from.

Besides, Christian teachers and Islamic teachers alike, all preach the message of peace in all communities and on average it is not common for Ghanaians to be fighting over tribal differences.

Some people, particularly politicians, are toying with our peace

There are two things I have identified as recipes for chaos, disunity and having the potential to erode the invaluable peace that Ghana is noted for. They are: 1. The free market trading in guns for everyday civilian use. 2. The whipping up of tribal sentiments during supposedly democratic political campaigning. Some politicians are so crafty.

They came up with messages like “ yen akan fuor” “ yen akanfuor “. It was the first time I heard this. Clearly, this was a divide-and-rule approach to winning votes and for us it is wrong. Ghanaians are very intelligent.

When you are talking to intelligent people you do not need to talk too much but Papa will understand. Some politicians have also tried to sideline a whole region and prevent them from voting.

Our politicians must review the kind of messages they let out there or they will disgrace themselves and let down this beautiful homeland of ours. In short, as some politicians and businessmen team up, consciously or unconsciously, to destroy the peace Ghana traditionally has been known for, I begin by reminding all of us of the peaceful Ghana that was handed down to us by our forefathers.

This reminder is to the politicians first, but also to the businessmen, and then to the many helpless onlookers. All of us must be reminded that there was once a time when the nation Ghana was the most peaceful and the Ghana we inherited was a peaceful solution to many problems in colonial Gold Coast of splinter villages, fights and tribal wars. When a problem is solved let the solution stay.

Remove tribe focus, create jobs

Politicians must stop hammering on tribes and work hard to project people as Ghanaians more than as tribes. Our problem is the lack of job creation. As a citizen of Ghana, my candid opinion about our goal setting, development planning and implementation is that not only have we failed to hold onto gains made by the first republic but we have steadily rolled development backwards due to many factors including the lack of courage to defend our dear nation with upright principles based on truth and justice.

One most important elements of national stability which God gave us, fostered by earlier leaders which we have always been proud of, but are rapidly losing is the peaceful Ghana, the peaceful regions and districts and towns and villages.

In fact, that legendary Ghana of remarkable safety, that place of sure peace is fast being replaced with most cruel forms of murder including ritualistic killings for money, killings in the name of traditional customs, contract killings of political opponents and killings for spiritual money popularly called “sakawa”.

While armed robbery at gunpoint had been known in some urban communities, its incidence was low and quite restricted which means it was not common in most rural communities. Most of Ghana was, therefore, crime-free, peaceful and safe to travel through, even at night.

My experience of peace in the Upper West Region

I chose to do my post-sixth form national service in Upper West. At the end of the service, one Michael Okrah and I had our last visit to the market just before my return to Accra in August 1991. First, I rode a friend’s bicycle from my village, Bugubelle, to Tumu located forty kilometres away northwards and from Tumu we headed west-wards to Fielmuo close to Hamile on the Ghana-Burkina Faso’s western border.

That Thursday on our return, just as our Albion cargo truck took off from Fielmuo and headed towards Tumu our destination, the truck broke down in less than three minutes of travel. The time knacked about 6.20 pm. But the next day Friday I was scheduled to catch the Tata Omnibus from Tumu to Bolga and there stretching before us, was the red lateritic road from Fielmuo to Tumu. How would we get to Tumu?

It was anybody’s guess as to how the two young service personnel would reach Tumu, especially when the next truck was expected a week away on another market day.

Such was the struggle but one thing was sure. Peace, peace and peace throughout the night journey. We walked through the night from 6.30 pm to the next day 6.00 am before setting our feet in Tumu township. That never-ending journey through the dark unlit night of Upper West will I never forget.

I will never forget the loud relentless barking dogs which reverberating ferocious sounds would surely have woken men and women as we two athletically traversed the quiet villages.

But all the way from Fielmuo, through Gbal to Gwollu, and to Tumu, nobody lifted an arm against us. We were not caught by lions and neither did the most evil hunter target us for his miscalculated prey. God bless Ghana but may God also bless our leaders of old wherever they are for the priceless peace they bequeathed to this nation Ghana.

But this was August 1991. Could you imagine the same scenario today 2024? God have mercy on Ghana! The armed robbers! The ritual murderers and the sakawa practitioners!

The contract killers who waylay their unsuspecting victims in lonely paths! Are they the new normal? Are they the progress made? Is that the education?

The freedom and justice, and the peace we all want? Oh, how mighty our failures! Our peace have we traded away and the nostalgic trend have we lost as we look upon self and let leadership drain away in the erosion of all future.

In the erosion of all future as old liberators pass on and are replaced with fence sitting spiritless spectators. Our woes started the day we all kept quiet and looked on. The elders, the youth, the professionals, the teachers, the engineers and the farmers all looking on till our future eroded away in the runoff of apathy. Let’s wake up for our peace is fast diminishing and the tail end is slipping away. The tail end of our peace is slipping away.


We must illegalise the trade and use of guns by civilians and tag special gun users such as hunters. There is a steady rise in gun violence as in armed robbery, vigilantism and domestic gun-related killings.

It was not so before the year 2000 when former President J.J. Rawlings was ruling. Well into the year 2001 after we changed government, for the first time, I saw businesses openly advertising the sale of guns in Kasoa.

Until this day business has become normal, hardly have I seen or heard people question the trade in weapons as dangerous as guns for everyday civilian use. The question is what is the gun supposed to be used for?

When a country already has problems of high levels of unemployment and poverty and the youth are idle, easily agitated with very little employment opportunities, what are they to use guns for?

Developed countries, in spite of all their wealth, do not have peace because anything is allowed in the name of free market and human rights which also opens the floodgate to own guns for self-defence. Adults can own guns and children too have used guns.

But careful analysis and statistics of killings in such countries as Colombia, the USA, the UK and France for example, which tolerate almost anybody to own guns in self-defence, show the irony that these are also the places where social peace has eluded them due to rampant, indiscriminate killings by the use of the gun.


The USA economically, socially and technologically speaking is the most advanced nation on earth and so many people seem to think everything practised there is good. To them, gun-right open to everybody will they welcome with open arms because American decisions are great.

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