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Opinions of Saturday, 16 November 2019

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

ROPAA is a monkey wrench Akufo-Addo must avoid!

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In principle, I have absolutely no problem with having the so-called Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA), passed by Parliament as far back as 2006, implemented, except that I sincerely do not think and believe that it has to be made an integral part of the general policy agenda of the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – (See “ROPAA to Be Implemented for 2020 Ghana Elections” Amandla News 11/13/19). There is simply too much tension in the country in the leadup to the 2020 General Election for the implementation of ROPAA to be taken either lightly or at face value. The single-minded vanguard advocates of this otherwise quite salubrious measure appear to be direly oblivious to the inescapable fact that allowing non-diplomat and nongovernment-employed Ghanaians resident abroad to vote in the 2020 General Election, may very well give credence to propagandistic claims and otherwise downright vacuous charges by the desperate leaders of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the movers-and-shakers of the ruling New Patriotic Party are poised to rigging an election of which all the available relevant indicators point to President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his visionary associates winning hands down, as New Yorkers are wont to say.

Already, Nana Akufo-Addo’s crackerjack appointees at the Electoral Commission (EC), in particular Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, Chairperson of the EC, is being hostilely dogged by largely unfounded allegations and accusations of being partial towards the key operatives of the New Patriotic Party. There can, therefore, be no gainsaying the fact that ROPAA is bound to be used by the Mahama Posse in a dastardly attempt to destabilize a country that is already on the brink. And on the latter count, of course, we are referring to the recent spate of arrests of several military connected elements of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress by personnel of our National Security Secretariat for allegedly either scheming to assassinate Nana Akufo-Addo and several of his most prominent executive appointees and operatives or, worse still, set the nation on the “Boot-for-Boot” revolutionary path of a catastrophic civil strife.

Personally, I strongly believe that those cynically and recklessly pushing the ROPAA agenda are hell-bent on wrecking the Akufo-Addo-piloted Ghana Ship of Progress and Democratic Enlightenment. You see, these are the same people who maliciously and viciously drove staunch Akufo-Addo backers such as yours truly out of the New Patriotic Party, in hopes of steamrolling their ideal and preferred Presidential Candidate into the Jubilee-Flagstaff House. Now, having been epically vanquished, the ROPAA Fifth-Columnists – we all know how Akufo-Addo bizarrely lost the 2008 Presidential Election – are not the least bit prepared to throw in the metaphorical towel and let their internal archnemesis peacefully and indefatigably carry on with the radical and critical work of the nation’s rapid modernization and development agenda. In short, our unflappable or resolute contention here is that ROPAA, as it is currently being promoted, is an inexcusable monkey wrench that will add absolutely no significant heft to the global stature and recognition of President Akufo-Addo and/or the democratic credentials of our beloved nation but, rather, unduly sidetrack and scandalously vitiate the same.

For now, what is most pressing, more than anything else, is the astute and visionary decision by President Akufo-Addo to have Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives democratically elected and made directly accountable to the people they have been designated to serve. We also hope in the offing that Regional Ministers will get elected directly by the very people they have been designated to serve. In short, we need to tackle first things first before all else. As the tired cliché goes, charity must begin at home and not abroad. If former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the man who staunchly promoted and religiously supervised the passage of ROPAA, as far back as 2006, did not recognize the imperative need to implement the same, what makes the Kofi ROPAAs of Ghana and the Diaspora cavalierly presume to reserve the right to sidetrack and scapegoat the Giant Dwarf into quixotically taking on the veritable albatross that is the patently unseasonable implementation of ROPAA?

In essence, out deep-seated contention, and conviction, here is that ROPAA definitely has a significant role to play in Ghana’s robust democratic culture. It is simply that the time to play Russian Roulette or Cowboys and Indians with our country’s destiny is not right now. A word to the wise…. Besides, it is unpardonably treacherous for anybody or group of persons to presume the Akufo-Addo Administration to be synonymous with an all-purpose garbage can for the reception of the wild dreams and hallucinations of wishful thinkers. We shall shortly take up other equally critical and salient aspects of the ROPAA Conundrum.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York