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Opinions of Friday, 9 October 2015

Columnist: Amponsah Stonash

Demo against Mahama in New York was a Success

Ghanaians responded overwhelmingly to the call by Concerned Ghanaians in the USA to make a case for a new voter’s register. From all over the United States of America, Ghanaians came to New York City during the United Nations General Assembly to bring to the attention of the international community the dangers that lie ahead of the 2016 election, if the bloated voter’s register is not changed.
In a spirit of defiance, Ghanaians weathered the early morning downpour to be at the premises of the United Nations to showcase the love and concern they have for their country. Amidst singing and chanting, the thoughts and intents for organizing this demonstration were clearly scripted and captured on placards such as “Ghanaians alone must choose their president”, “Stop police brutality on peaceful protesters”, “We want free and fair elections”, “Peace is priceless, change the voter’s register”, “ Let Ghanaians vote, not ECOWAS”, and many others.
Consistent with Ghana’s national anthem to “resist oppressors’ rule”, many Ghanaians in the tri-states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut took time off from work to participate in the demonstration. Most of the demonstrators were very angry at what they see as President Mahama’s sickening hypocrisy. Most asked why Mahama is keeping mute about calls for a new register while, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, he (John Mahama) asked Togo to compile a new voter’s register for credible elections. Why is it that Togo deserves clean and fair elections but not Ghana?
President Mahama also had the nerve to take a swipe at the USA for police brutalities in his speech to the United Nations, whereas under his watch Ghana is witnessing what is gradually becoming a police state. The holier than thou attitude of President Mahama was the motivation for these concerned Ghanaians to expose Mahama’s dictatorial style of leadership to the international Community.
Not only that, Concerned Ghanaians also presented a petition to the Human Rights Committee of the UN. Among the demands sought in the petition are:
1. A new voter’s register. Quoting the 1992 Constitution to support their claim, the petition stated in part:
“Chapter Seven of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana is dedicated to the representation of the people and the powers vested in the electoral commission and its regulation of political parties to ensure a growing democracy”.

2. To stop police brutalities on peaceful protesters. The Petition states that:
The Ghanaian Government has acted with total and reckless disregard for human rights by unilaterally ordering and directing a “preemptive strike” and a show of aggression against Ghanaians –actions that will cause irreparable harm and destabilize our peaceful country. This is in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognizes that disregard and contempt for human rights result in barbarous acts which outrage the conscience of mankind”.

We the Concerned Ghanaians have indicated that these demands are non-negotiable, since any compromise in that regard will have the tendency to jeopardize the peace and stability of our nation during the 2016 elections.
The demonstration was very successful. We give thanks to everyone who contributed in one way or another to make this history: the organizers, media partners, and the entire population of Ghanaians resident in the USA who continue to show concern for the multitude of problems facing our nation. We are also thankful to Hopeson Yaovi Adorye who came all the way from Germany to support this cause.
Our demand for a new voter’s register and the fight for a truly democratic Ghana, where the will of Ghanaians will be respected, shall continue unabated. And we will continue to present our case to the international community to heed our call, because Ghana cannot afford to deal with a humanitarian crisis emanating from stolen elections.
Let us continue in our fight for a better Ghana; one that we all can believe in.

Amponsah Stonash
(Press Coordinator, Concerned Ghanaians – USA