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Differences in opinion should not divide us


—Supreme Knight Marshall

As we celebrate the feast day of the Noble Order, Marshallan Day, I send you fraternal greetings on behalf of the Supreme Council and Grand Court.

We celebrate this day with various activities that underscore the element of love in our Marshallan identity, and also in gratitude to God for his blessings on the Noble Order.

Marshallan Day is of great significance to the members of the Noble Order and the entire Catholic community because of the role played by Sir James Marshall in the reestablishment of the Catholic Church in the year 1880, after the church had been inactive for over 250 years in the then Gold Coast.

As we commemorate this year’s feast day, let us reflect on our role as Marshallans in the promotion of peace and the entrenchment of democratic rule in Ghana and the West-African sub-region.

Thanks to God, democratic rule can be felt, although to different degrees, in our homeland and other sister nations in the sub-region. The road to our present destination has been long and difficult, however with determination and tenacity to create for ourselves an oasis of peace, we have been able to bring our nations to where we are today.
Peaceful democratic rule is paramount for the total development of our countries and the people.

Peace can only be certain when the citizen’s personal freedom is evidently assured because he or she is governed by the rule of law. Such a milieu exists when democratic rule is entrenched. In light of the tenets of the Noble Order, the Marshallan, therefore has a duty to himself and his neighbour to be an instrument of peace.

Democracy is simply a call to respect divergent opinions and harness differences for the total development of the people. Different political parties are essential for true democracy to be practised. The differences in political ideology should however not divide us. Rancour and acrimony need not characterise our politics; after all, the goal of each political persuasion is to achieve good and peaceful governance of our country. Elections should therefore not be about inciting people against each other but a healthy contest of ideas.

Let us examine events that transpired during the recent biometric registration exercise in Ghana. As Marshallans, do we stand by and bring to naught what we have so far gained? Can we imagine the anguish we may be sentencing our people should there be a civil strife? The cost will be too much for us to bear.

To avert this looming and disturbing image it must be the duty of every Marshallan to double his/her effort towards deepening democratic rule in Ghana and the sub-region.

We will mount a crusade to caution all against acts, omissions, hate speech, and inflammatory utterances that threaten the peace and stability of our country. We must condemn such comments that seek to incite violence and desist from justifying them.

Our security services are also urged to act in fairness, independently without fear or favour in the discharge of their duties.

The National Media Commission must- as a matter of urgency- be resourced to take steps to ensure that there is sanity in the media landscape, and media houses and personnel that incite violence must be sanctioned.

Finally let us pray for and work towards the maintenance of peace in our motherland and ensure that we put an end to everything that does not promote peace, especially conflict and violence.

May our Lady, Queen of Marshallans continue to intercede for us.

Sir Kt. Derx Baffour
(Supreme Knight)

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