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Opinions of Friday, 3 March 2006

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

Enough of the People's Representation Bill's brouhaha

------Let's get down to the people's real business.

Ok, If and when we really want to grant the Ghanaians outside the right to vote in Ghana's elections there 's a way out. With the proliferation of the internet ,one can register in Ghana and vote via the net; provided the voter has a secured Pin Number, which could be issued by the Electoral Commission's Website-voila ! It's relatively cheaper. But, that is not the main point of this piece . That's for another article.

Divert the Nation's attention:

Oh, boy! thanks to the reincarnation of the People's Representation Bill and the consumption of the bitter cork tail -of- hatred ,which have intoxicated our politicians-now new ways have been discovered to divert the nation's attention from trucks' load of issues affecting the average Ghanaian at home and abroad. So all of a sudden the Burgers' right to vote or not to vote in Ghana has become our Achilles' Heel? When and how did the plight of Ghanaians , particularly, those living abroad, become a major concern of the policy makers and politicians? I smell something fishy from the political kitchen, folks ! No bi so?

Sunday wrestling Match- Sayoooooooooo:

In fact, watching the open exhibition of the intense outcry from both sides of the ROPA's debate is almost a vomit-inducing exercise-yikes ! I can't be nicey-wicey about this one ,people!.

Regardless of which side of the debate you're on , I think it's getting very ugly and nasty .It's also a waste-of -time -and -resource undertaking-to say the least.

There go the kids' welfare and their future:

Oh, Lord, I hope I'm not the only one on this planet who thinks that the boycotting of the parliament and the demonstrations against the issue in question are mind-bothering and unpatriotic . Why are we investing so much borrowed- time and energy in something which has little -if any-impact on our socio- economic problems we have at home? How does our right to vote in Ghana going to put used computers in the classrooms in my town? Would my vote put nurses in our schools so that they could attend to our students' minor medical needs? Get this: the Mp from my district is not even in good terms with the district's Chief Executive-surprise? Oh, what was I saying? Oh, what about the revitalization of our towns and villages? And, what about spending time to put our youth into entrepreneurship and apprenticeship programs? I hope and pray we can spend as much time we do to demonstrate against Diasporean's Bill ,as we do to debate the wacky decisions our Mps and Politicians make every day.

Our Parliamentarians need time off to experience real life: It's amazing how quick our Mps can boycott their duties-of which we employed them to do-in Parliament, over something trivial as debating on an issue-which can be easily put into REFERENDUM ,in an election year. I live to see the day when our MPs would boycott their 'duties' in Parliament and their Comfort Zones (for a week) to move and spend time with the people in the villages and towns -so that they would be able to feel and see what those who made them what they're go through to make the two ends meet-and even if there's any end for them at all.

Enough Burgers' Representatives already:

As for those of us who think the world will come to an end if our wishes are not granted, please hold your fire. But, you can still go ahead and call me any name in the book. You don't have to vote in Ghana to make a huge difference. Aren't you concerned about being a victim of armed robbers than your right to vote? Yep, I know what you're saying.' But, when I vote I can elect a politician who can fight against crime'. So you think. Do you know that right now we have more 'Burger' Representatives in Ghana than ever? The majority of the people ruling Ghana are former Burgers?(People who spent half of their better years outside Ghana ) From Ashantihene to Okyehene. From the President to the Parliamentarians, from the head of our institutions to the heads of our companies. They're former 'burgers' .

So if we're looking for representatives from abroad we have plenty to go around. And, if they want to make a difference in their respective areas they have the opportunity to do that right now, and help Ghana to develop its socio-economic ecology. Let me hear an Amen!

Burgers are not aliens:

On the same front, our brothers and sisters can't and shouldn't treat those of us outside as some kind of aliens from different planet, trying to hijack the Ghanaian political system. Is there any town in Ghana which doesn't have an offspring living outside Ghana?

Is there any soul in Ghana who hasn't experienced the 'blessing ' of a Burger, one way or another? Nope, I'm not even talking about the money we send home to help out .In essence, we're like a car, taking one part out will make it impossible it run it. Where will Ghana be with- out the burgers? While we're at it we can't forget the valuable role the folks back home play-to hold on against all hope and be the gate keepers.

They're the folks who make our visits back home worth while. The list goes on and on and I'm not leaving any one out. Do you get my point? Ghana can't do without its offspring; both home and abroad. It's a fact.

What appears impossible is often inevitable:

Look, Ariel Sharon has quit the Likud Party and formed his own new Party, in Israel. The militant group-Hamas won the Palestinian election easily. So some day not only the Ghanaians living abroad can vote but could have a very vigorous political and economic muscles which could induce brothers and sisters at home to invite us to come home and lead them into the Promised Land.-if only we want to make a real difference in the lives of those we left behind and the country we love so much. Hallelujah !

Please don't mess with our fragile democracy:

Until that time, we need to focus on what we can do as individuals to make life a little better for those we left behind. We also need to take a break from the demonstrations and boycotts, so that we can agree to disagree on issues which affect all of us. In the days of Al-Queda, anti-Talibans, Hurricane, and Tsunamis can Ghana afford not to bring her sons and daughters together, so as to plan for a comprehensive economic take - off; for this century and beyond ? So why are we playing with our 'fragile' democracy and' borrowed time'? I don't get it. Why are we throwing stones around a Glass House?

We're our own worst enemies:

Is this brouhaha good for a country which prides itself on drumming-up investors' confidence and trying to reverse the brain Drain of its offspring? We should all remember that ''the biggest wounds in one's life is usually self-inflicted''. Need I say more? Just think about it. Am- I loud enough? I hope I'm wrong ! Enough is enough. Let's get busy !

Is anybody home ?

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi.
Nj ,USA.
The writer's the founder of Adu-Gyamfi Educational & Empowerment Foundation and Apprenticeship Programs for the youth of Asuom.

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