Monday, 13 October 2008

A nation of peace

...or something like that has been a constant message in the media for this year's elections, promoting the fact that we should all ensure peace leading to the December election. So far it seems to be working.

On Friday I attended Peter Ala Adjetey's funeral and fittingly found a seat somewhere between the lawyers and the political party representatives. Peter Ala Adjetey, a veteran NPP man and lawyer drew crowds of lawyers and members of the NPP party. Having been a speaker of Parliament and therefore having a state burial, other party members, former leaders and ministers from all party backgrounds were also present. About halfway through the service I realised Akufo-Addo, Rawlings, Mills and Kuffour were all sitting within 75 metres of each other.

A buzz went through the NPP audience when Akufo-Addo in his speech criticised Rawlings regime and all eyes turned to Rawlings. When during the story of Ala Adjetey's life it was mentioned how he commemorated three judges brutally murdered by Rawlings, I couldn't help but wonder what it felt like for Rawlings to sit at the front row, knowing the huge crowd was watching his every move. I was later reminded that Rawlings had even detained Ala Adjetey during his time in power and couldn't determine whether it took great guts or great audacity to attend his funeral.

Either way, I was extremely impressed by all the political big shots and the audience, that no one took the opportunity to campaign (Akuffo-Addo who spoke, did not in any way attempt to promote himself) and neither the personalities nor the crowd showed any animosity towards each other, even though we're less than two months to an election with a lot at stake.

The whole funeral almost ground to a halt as Kuffour was doing his goodbye rounds when leaving, every person wondering what would happen when he would reach Rawlings. Before he got there, all cameramen were already in place, almost blocking him from accessing Rawlings. Both men satisfied the crowd by showing greatness as they reached for each other and shook hands. I felt enormous pride that at such a time and with a very dramatic past two decades, these to opposing leaders could smile and shake each others hands.

As soon as the handshake was done, the composed nature of the crowd dissolved into a chaotic but good-tempered soar as people found their way to their political groups. A funeral which had looked like a staunch NPP event due to Ala Adjetey's background, showed itself quite mixed as a huge crowd of supporters rushed to greet and cheer Rawlings.

It was only then I realised what a composed crowd it had been. Men had stood side by side with their political opponents for hours, containing themselves to this point and only exposed their affiliations to celebrate their leaders rather than fight amongst each other.

Aaah, what a peaceful land!


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

You know, post-nuptials, you are writing very mature stuff. Ok, just a joke but this piece is writing about maturity with a lot of internal maturity itself. Great observation skills too. And I like the suspense you built up when the physical distance between the 2 big men was decreasing.

Maya said...

Ha ha, well I'm not a small girl anymore, am I ;)

Thank you for the compliments, very much appreciated especially when coming from such a talented writer.


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