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Opinions of Thursday, 22 December 2005

Columnist: Amankwa, Kwame

Amanfuo ? Is it the horse, its owner or both

Amanfuo, l believe in political representation even in the absence of taxation. A country which denies its true citizens their rights, especially, the one to representation is one that is not worth dying for. The NPP government as I understand it is about to pass a People?s Representation Bill, that will for the first time give Ghanaians, I mean well and fully bloodied Ghanaians the vote in future national elections. But already an emerging creeks of ?asembone? views about the bill is being peddled up and down the land in the midst of a sea of general recognition in support of the bill.

Traditionally there has been a culture of contempt for Ghanaians in the Diaspora. During the stupid revolutionary times many ?burgers? lost their lives and assets because of self-manufactured envy. The same people are now calling for the non-adoption of the Peoples Rep bill. The surprising thing is that most of these selfish, panicky louts trying to suppress the overseas vote are some of the so-called ?book-long? political barmy ?army?, who sadly cannot logically see beyond their noses. This lot are already sowing seeds of confusion and catastrophically designing or imagining abstractly impossible doomsday scenarios. I wonder what they have to hide. Do they want to continue to use their dubiously acquired political powers and filthy wealth to ride on the backs of our poor folks, looting and raping them in the process? I say a new political awakening has dawned and these better get use to it.

Nobody knows how many true Ghanaians live abroad ? two hundred thousand, five million, ten million - yet the opponents are worried that in future elections the deciding ballots many not be cast in Accra, Ho, Kumasi or Tamale but in London, Baghdad, Casablanca, New Jersey or Iceland. What an absurd calculation?.

I am not conversant with the contents of the bill, but I believe it is one of the good things to come out of this ?bleeding? NPP elephant. However this does not mean that I will automatically vote NPP come the passage of this bill. My voting intentions will be informed by the ?facts of the moment? whenever that comes.

Millions of Americans and British in every part of the globe exercise this democratic right, yet those at home do not naively complain. In fact both Kerry and Bush went globe trotting in person or via their agents in the recent American elections to canvass these overseas votes.

I have a few questions and hard truths for those hot heads rubbing their fat bellies and anantuo kessie against this long overdue project. What these unnecessary enemies of the people do not realize is that we are talking about rights here not privileges and their outbursts have exposed the extent of their ingratitude and nativity.

We say we are democratic and as such following in the foot steps of the mothers of true democracy ? the USA, UK etc. Now let us take a trip down memory lane. Year 2000 in the USA to be precise. It was Al Gore versus George Bush in a fiercely contested presidential election. The former was leading by 202 votes. Then the overseas votes turned it into a 537 majority for Mr Bush. America did not degenerate into an inferno.

Amanfuo, should Ghanaians abroad have any constitutional voting rights? Does the NPP have an imaginary empire of supporters outside Ghana who will vote to turn the scales in future elections in their favour? Does the present system disenfranchise a better proportion of Ghanaians living abroad?. The solid answers are Yes, No and Yes.

Within the EU, expatriate voting rights are guaranteed by most states. Germany has a 25 year limit, Denmark has 5 year cap etc for its citizens living outside the EU. Did you know that French citizens living abroad are guaranteed the election of a High council of people who have clout? They elect representatives who stand up for the interest of those living abroad. Amanfuo, it is all about recognising your citizens and their contributions, respecting their constitutional rights and giving them a say in National affairs. Actually, this Bill should not generate any fuss at all.

Ghanaians residing ?legally? or otherwise abroad are still Ghanaians. Except for the cases of our unfortunate brothers and sisters who were stripped of their birth rights and exchanged for ?Tom brown? and sugar by the PNDC with the Americans on alleged spying charges in I think the 1980?s. Even they are now fighting for or have fought back for their citizenship rights. People leave Ghana for reasons such as education and career advancement, join families, political intimidation etc. They have Ghanaian passports and maintain regular contacts with the motherland in many valuable ways. They pay their village development levies, school fees, health care costs, rent, etc.

Amanfuo, during the 1970?s and 1980?s millions of Ghanaians were deported from Nigeria and other places. Then there were bush fires, transportation crisis, drastic food shortages, and blinding rates of unemployment. Other evils were visited on the people as a result of imposition of some half-cooked economic policies and dead political ideologies. The people who mainly came to the rescue of the nation and its citizenry were those living abroad. Let us not forget that!!!. I call them the True Ghanaians Living Overseas (TGLO?s).

Those arguing against the bill may be slumbering and snoring through their mouths, for if they took the rare opportunity to do the simple calculation of extricating the TGLO contributions from the socio-economic equation, they will without doubt realise how naked and sad this country is or will be. Ghana is functioning as a nation state due largely to the contributions of our TGLOs. These toil day and night to oil the socio-economic wheels of the country. Whenever Ghana sneezes, this patriotic lot catch a cold. If these acts patriotism does not qualify one to participate in the selection of people who govern the country, I do not know what does. No wonder refugees living in Ghana including non-Ghanaians across the borders are able sell Ghanaian lands to Ghanaians, use our services freely with impunity and vote to influence the political systems in ways that is never afforded true Ghanaians abroad.

Amanfuo, we have even allowed half-baked ?Ghanaians? to shoot their way to power, who not only committed heinous crimes against humanity, but siphoned off a lot of our valuable resources for the benefit of themselves and their cronies, yet these same anoobums kept quiet. So what are we doing trying to deny true and fully bloodied Ghanaians the right to vote?

Who are the against people: Apparently the EAGLE party that has been quarantined over the years due to the fears over the spread of ?political flu?. Then there is the TUC ? Amanfuo the TUC. These bunch do not realise that many Ghanaians working especially in Europe pay into political funds, part of which are used to fund some Trade Union activities in Ghana. Now their bellies are full so they can afford to bite off some of the fingers that feed them. May God have mercy on their souls. Then there is the P(NDC). In ways reminiscent of the bad old days, these bunch have come up against the diasporians again. I WONDER WHAT THESE BUNCH ARE AFRAID OF?. A murderous past is casting a shadow of guilt and fear among some of its elite. Oh yes their policies of torturing, maiming, brutalising, confiscating, starving, denying, and looting of many Ghanaians of their liberties and hard earned resources over the years sent many Ghanaians into early retirement abroad. In fact too many were forced out of the country that it has created a large army of ?against? people who will vote them down in any future elections. What a clever calculation!!. But there is no anecdotal evidence to suggest that every TGLO will automatically vote NPP. No no no we do not think that narrowly at all.

Ghanaians living abroad know some of these aspirants for political office very well in ways unknown or hidden from our innocent folks back home. We may know the azaa ones including the lazy burgers who sit on their arses twiddling their fingers for years on social benefits, unable to even manage their dogs and yet want to run our precious economies. With our deep knowledge of the issues and people we will be able to cast our votes in ways that are objective, transparent and relevant. Besides, where best to source clean votes than in the bellies of the mothers of all democracies.

The other argument that I have for supporting the bill is that, it will not only serve as unifying project for Ghanaians in the diaspora but could be a potential money spinner for the government. How about pay $10 or ?10 for your right to vote?.Amanfuo, in this age you do not need to travel over 6000 miles or so to vote in your country. I am sure our democratic partners can support this project. Give us the opportunity to tell our future politicians that even if they manage to pool asaawa over the eyes of our poor folks at home, they will still have the tough goal post manned by TGLOs to get through.

If in doubt please put the whole idea to a referendum and let see what the outcome will be. This matter is too important to be left in the hands of a few malcontents.

Once again let me remind our ?against? people that many a times you might find a horse or its owner that is gone mad. The People?s Representation Bill is a normal and clean horse and so are its advocates. MAY THE WISH OF THE PEOPLE PREVAIL.

God bless Ghana, the most hmmmm peaceful place on earth.



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