Ghana must nurture resilience against armed conflicts – Justice Prof.Mensa-Bonsu
A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu says Ghana must nurture resilience against any situation that has the potential to create division, thus compromising the peace and stability of the country.
“Ghana must nurture a tolerable degree of resilience to withstand any form of stress that will break up its sense of unity and invite war mongers, human vultures and despicable characters from changing our way of life in favour of commercial profits for themselves,” she said.
At the annual Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecture organised as part of the 75th Anniversary celebrations of the University of Ghana, held on the theme: Resilience, Technology and Humanism, Justice Mensa-Bonsu said some of Ghana’s neighbours which experienced such conflicts were still battling the herculean task of recovering and rebuilding after years of chaos and instability due to the lack of resilience.
She also touched on how these armed conflicts compromised law and order, the safety of citizens and created an atmosphere of survival difficulties for the majority ordinary citizens caught in it.
The Supreme Court Judge, therefore, suggested the urgent need for the country to take practical steps to avoid such outcomes from occurring.
“It is therefore not a matter of idle interest for Ghana to survey its geographical location to determine what it will take to stay off such a fate and what it must take its attention in cultivating sufficient resilience to maintain its territorial integrity,” she said.
Citing some data from the 2021 population census, she pointed to existing vulnerabilities such as increasing urban poverty, growing inequalities and youth unemployment which she said created an atmosphere to breed such armed conflicts.
This situation, she also noted, could never insulate the country from external threats such as the advancement of the Islamist insurgency from the Sahel, hence the need to properly tackle these social and economic vulnerabilities.
“It has also been demonstrated that sustainable and equitable development in the country is a necessary condition for durable peace. For when development is enjoyed as a peace dividend, the corporation of the population to maintain the peace is assured,” she said.
She also highlighted the need to intentionally cultivate peace and nature habits that would “see us through a dangerous time in our history.”
“I have always maintained that peace is to a nation what oxygen is to the human being…Without peace, the only thing will be survival and certainly, no development,” she said.