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Opinions of Sunday, 30 April 2006

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

ROPAB is here, what next?

- GSDM will like to know.

"I have often been accused of pursuing a `policy of the impossible`. But I cannot believe in the impossibility of demanding freedom and justice, any more than I could ever have thought of the impossibility of demanding Justice for mankind if there is any such Justice" (Prince Aidoo)

Fellow good citizens of Ghana, please lend us your ears. We are here to say that the crow will never stop crowing until those who are sleeping hear the sound of this voice and wake-up. This crow will not stop crowing until the dead hears this voice. It is a voice that the righteous are ready to hear. It is a voice that the evil will not like to hear because of his iniquity against humanity. But fellow women, men and children of Ghana, this evil in our society, will never be free until he is forced to hear this undisputed voice of the New Generation. It is the voice those who are in political and social bondage will like to hear.

Fellow countrymen, the Ghana Social Democratic Movement is hear to announce that with your voices, our leaders had no option than to ?Speak the language of the people? at long last. We will like to take this opportunity to thank all the political stakeholders, citizens of Ghana, and all those who made their voices head on Ghana-web (Say it loud) forum. Thanks also goes to all those pressure groups and other private writers for their immense contribution to this achievement.

Ghana Social Democratic Movement also salute the opposition party NDC and their supporters for vehemently opposing from the very onset against the passing of this bill. In their defence, Mr. Alban Bagin, the Minority Leader, said there were serious legal and administrative problems that had to be cleared before the proposed law could operate without negative consequences. In principle, we will say it is their democratic rights, and cannot be blamed for that. We are happy also to hear Mr. Alban Bagin, the Minority Leader, who read a statement on behalf of his group during the second reading, by saying that, they were not opposed to the principle of extending franchise to Ghanaians living abroad.

Not to leave the reaction of the opposition out, who had among other things cited administrative hurdles and practical problems such as logistics and geographical distance as some of their reasons for opposing it and threatening that if not stopped, the passing of this bill will escalate violence in the country, would have been unnecessary if they had taking the trouble to educate the masses on their position earlier. Ghana Social Democratic Movement will like to say without any prejudice that they as well contributed to the mayhem of the situation for not educating the grass roots for what they thought that Passing this Bill with be a disaster and reminding the grass roots that they were the same party that first introduced it and enacted it in our constitution. Can the grass roots understand their democratic protest without proper education?

Let us as well thank the ruling Party for their courage and for listening to the voice of the Ghanaians in the Diaspora and at home. NPP should be told however that the opposition they experienced from other Parties and their supporters was due to their lack of public education. They could have saved the situation if they had educated the grass roots the meaning of the word ?ROPAB?. What does this word ROPAB mean to the people at the grass roots? They should be told that the people of this county are now awake and shall never allow themselves to be ridiculed by any political Party in this country with empty slogans. They should not think that passing this bill is tantamount to everlasting victory in this country. Passing this bill should neither be regarded as a victory nor a defeat to any political Party. We say, they have just spoken our language. All political stakeholders in our country should be remembered that ?Democracy, should be of the people, by the people and for the people?.

We the voice of the New Generation, shall ensure that never again shall someone be seen to be above the law of this republic. They should be told that, this bill that seeks to amend the Representation of the People Law, 1992 (PNDC law 284) to enable Ghanaians resident abroad who by virtue of restrictions imposed on them by the Law and as such are unable to register and vote in public elections and referenda in Ghana was not meant for NPP alone, but for every Political Party in Ghana and we the voice of the New Generation shall ensure that it will only be the will of the people that shall be done in this republic and not the will of any Political Party.

The Bill is here and the way forward.

Fellow good citizens of Ghana, please lend us your ears. The bill has now been passed, and the game is about to start. It is not the only bill in our history that our politicians will be forced to repeal or amend. There are more to be repealed from our constitution and set it free from all sorts of Clauses that is not in the interest of the Republic. Now a challenge has been thrown to Ghanaians, political stake holders and all concern citizens who insisted and pressurised the ruling government to pass this law to come out with an idea that can ensure that the logistics are met and any voting is NOT rigged by any Party. It is our dearly duty as concerned citizens to prove this. Apart from our common democratic rights, it must be posited that it is in the national interest of Ghana to involve the Diaspora in the democratic processes. Ghanaians abroad have valuable contributions to make to public debates just as well their contributions would tend to enrich the quality of the discourse and increase other forms of civic engagement. Participation in elections would turn to create a feeling of duty, a habit of co-operation and interdependence. In conclusion it is the position of this paper to emphasise that rather than shunning the Diaspora, all the stakeholders in Ghana politics, irrespective of which party one belongs to, should show maturity, courage and rise above unhelpful intransigent party positions to embrace and integrate the Diaspora in national affairs, including elections. A well placed Diaspora can function as a bridge between Ghana and the international community. As a bridge to international ideas, investment and capital. The Diaspora could become Ghana?s colony overseas to facilitate Ghanaian exports and bring about good things to Ghana.

In reference to Mr. Alban Bagin, the Minority Leader, in his party?s perception, he said there were serious legal and administrative problems that had to be cleared before the proposed law could operate without negative consequences. This means we should prove to the people of this nation that, we Ghanaians are capable of managing our own affairs. Do we have to get them wrong for entertaining fears in this direction? If the answer is abysmal ?NO?, then it is about time to get the ball rolling. We should start with educating Ghanaians in the Diaspora and our people in Ghana to understand the essence of passing this bill. We should start thinking of logistics. We should build a think-thank group that will be authorised to advise the people on their voting rights, as well as co-ordinating with the political stakeholders and ensuring a positive consensus. There is nothing one cannot do if given the necessary support and the mandate to do so. Ghanaians are capable of achieving this aim.

Organisation takes it all.

Organisation is said to take it all, and this can happen if our people can be assured that no matter how long it takes, Ghanaians can unite and shall prove beyond doubt that we are a nation that can manage our own affairs. This voice of the New Generation ?The Ghana Social Democratic Movement?, the Diaspora Voting committee (DVC) likewise all other pressure groups, shall never be satisfied until Ghanaians have the right to vote where ever they are. There shall be no stone left unturned to achieve this aim. We hereby are appealing to Ghanaians that we should now show maturity and refrain from bitterness, personal attacks and using unnecessary insults in our political and social debates. We should prove to our enemies that we Africans, when left alone in peace, and giving our political, social and economic freedom, we have everything in our disposal to prove to the world that, if we are Blacks, this does not mean that our ?Brains are also Black?, in other words, we should let them know that if we are said to be poor, our brains are not poor. The African, after all, is capable of managing his own affairs.

We will like to remind those of you who are fighting for political and social justice that, ??Unless we meet this obvious and very powerful threat with a unified African front, based upon a common economic and defence policy, the strategy of our enemies will be to pick us off and destroy us one by one as we have been witnessing in our struggle for self-government?. To overcome this external threat in our ongoing political emancipation, we should unite and break our differences, by doing away with tribalism, hatred, corruption, political arrogance and other evil thoughts that has caused the deterioration of our Republic since its inception. It is about time for us to love each other and believe that nation building is of the people, by the people and for the people. We should all put our ideas together and help the nation in its attempt to extending voting rights to ever Ghanaian regardless his or her abode. This is a difficult task and Ghana Social Democratic Movement thinks, Ghana has enough concern citizen, intellectuals and technocrats around the world that can make this happen.

We owe our people some gratitude. We should not fail them. Our good friends are therefore informed that GSDM has its international secretariat established in Germany ready to offer its services when needed. We will like to start with the think-tank until a committee is set-up and recognised by the people, the government and the Electoral Commission. A database will be created to store all meaningful suggestions for future references. Our contact address is as follows; Ghana Social Democratic Movement. Registration NR. in Ghana. G-15.675 Code, 1963 (Act 179) Tel: 0049-211-3849790, Fax.: 0049-211-3885769, Email address: gsdm9090@yahoogroup.com We will welcome all your queries and advises that will ensure that we are united as a nation of one people with the capability to manage the logistics of our voting promises. Please note that we shall not respond to any insult contributions. Constructive criticisms are dearly welcomed. We will like to make it clear to our fellow Ghanaians that our motherland is what comes first. Call GSDM, and we will all start the JOB. God bless you and our motherland. Forward Ever.

The General Secretary
Ghana Social Democratic Movement


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