As the 2016 general elections draw nearer the first line of Ghana’s national anthem, “God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong”, is the prayer on the lips of every Ghanaian. And Ghanaians living in Germany are no exception as they look forward to the polls, which are to hold on 6 December.
Organised by the Ghana Embassy in Germany in collaboration with the Ghana Inter-Faith Leaders Association (GIFLA), an event with the theme “Towards Peaceful Elections In Ghana, December 2016” brought together Ghanaians from all over Germany on 20 August 2016.
The event, which took place at the Gospel Believers International Church in Berlin, was attended by the likes of the Honourable Akua Sena Dansua, the ambassador of Ghana to Germany, as well as her counterparts from other African missions in Berlin, pastors from different denominations, the Chief Imam of the Ghanaian Muslim Community in Berlin, and a representative of the Ghana Traditional Council in Berlin.
The event featured music, dance, wonderful speeches and, above all, prayers. There was no discrimination as all religions became one and the auditorium filled with the unity of a people concerned about their country.
Ghana, like many other countries in Africa, has experienced a few coup d’états since their independence. Nonetheless, after its 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution, Ghana has held six free and fair and peaceful elections. Due to its ‘tainted past’ whenever elections approach citizens become apprehensive as to the outcome of the elections and its effect on the nation.
Ambassador Dansua in her speech stated that: “It is important to point out that the aspiration for a peaceful election does not rest only with the president or his government. It is a collective responsibility of all of us, including the opposition political parties and their leaders, the media, Civil Society Organisations, our traditional authorities and the Ghanaian citizenry, both within and outside Ghana”.
Ghanaians in Germany prayed for a peaceful election, unity in the country before and after the elections, a president-elect after God’s own heart and more grace for the Ghana Embassy in Berlin. One common characteristic that Ghanaians have is their selflessness, as they came together to pray for their motherland they also prayed for countries all over the world, especially Germany, the county of their residence. They prayed for protection for Germany especially during these trying times in Europe when terrorism has become an ever present danger.The Chief Imam together with the representative of the Ghana Traditional Council also urged all Ghanaians to remain calm and for everyone to play their roles. The media should ensure that the information they put out was the truth and nothing but the truth since this could have dire consequences. Furthermore, religious leaders were asked not to hide behind the ‘pulpit’ and do politics. Politicians were urged not to rig the elections and Ghanaians as a whole should do their utmost best to maintain peaceful co-existence.
The program was not all about prayers, a talk was given on “Appreciating our African Heritage”. Ghanaians in Germany were encouraged to remember their heritage and to pass it on to their children. The Ghanaian adage “The one who knows where he comes from, is the one who knows where he is going to” was often quoted. The essence of the adage is that Africans must uphold their heritage and appreciate it since this would help them reach their potential. Just like a plant flourishes when its roots are in fertile soil, watered and tended to, so will Ghanaians or Africans as a whole succeed if they uphold their roots.
Also Ghanaians were urged to aspire higher, they were advised not to let the pigmentation of their skin discourage them from attaining their highest aspirations. Parents were advised to let their children know on a daily basis that they are capable of achieving their dreams, that they are as good as everyone else, and they do not deserve only menial jobs; they could also attain professional excellence.
The event ended with a recital of the Ghana National Anthem, prayers, happiness, laughter and, last but not least, showers of blessings, as it rained cats and dogs on the day. / Nelly Sarpong