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Opinions of Monday, 19 July 2004

Columnist: Agyepong, Stephen

Rejoinder - Save Ghana from a Liberia situation

I am deeply concerned and disturbed about the current utterances in the media of sections of Ghanaians about the repeat of the situation in Liberia in Ghana. I found these utterances very irresponsible and should be condemned in no uncertain terms by all peace loving people of Ghana and elsewhere. Ghana?s hard earned freedom of speech would be meaningless if we do not use it to help us debate and resolve our issues peacefully; use it to discuss and find ways to develop our dear country to the benefit of all its citizens.

The thing that most disturb me is the fact that these utterances could scare potential investors to the country. I don?t think too many Ghanaians would want to invest their hard earned money in the country when there is constant threat of war hanging on the country. Is there any wonder most of our leaders and well to do citizens save their money in Swiss and other western countries where they feel their money is safe?

While we condemn these utterances we should also be mindful of the concerns of the people making these noises. In this regard, it seems to me like the President should spend a little more time at home to help resolve some of the concerns and issues giving rise to them. The government should realize that it doesn?t matter how much it tries if there is a constant threat of war in the country, its effort to attract investors to the country will fail. Investors are in business to make money and do not want their investment to be consumed by war or carnage.

I think, for example, the Ya Na issue is taking too long to resolve. If there are any issues standing in the way of an immediate resolution the good people of Ghana should be told what those issues are so that no political party will make political capital out of the situation.

Our former President, Dr J. J. Rawlings and the NDC have made various allegations including implicating some members of the government in their involvement in the mass killing of some Ghanaian women. The only way we are going to get to the bottom of these issues are the setting up of commission of inquiry to look into these allegations. I am sure the government may be thinking about the cost. We have chosen to be a democratic country and these are some of the cost of democracy. We need to pay the price of democracy to make it work.

The government should be seen as taking swift action to resolve issues raised by the opposition. The government should remember the saying ?justice delayed, is justice denied.? There have been too many allegations by the opposition which have been ignored by the government. The government should not be seen as pursuing selective justice. The government is there for all the people of Ghana and should be seen as protecting all the people all the time not some of the people.

I think it is about time Ghanaians learn to use the law courts to resolve our issues. In this regard I am appealing to the people in charge of our justice system and the government to work swiftly to earn the trust of the people so they can use the law courts to settle their differences instead of taking things into their own hand.

Ghana needs responsible leaders. The insults, threats and inflammatory outbursts are not good for our dear country. We should use our freedom of speech responsibly to avoid the situation whereby the government is forced to curb it.

We should remember we need peace and stability to develop our dear country. No matter our political leaning we should all be seen as working together to develop our dear country to make it the black star that it was envisioned to be.

Long Live Ghana, Long Live The Black Star!!!


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