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Opinions of Saturday, 18 February 2006

Columnist: Aning, Alfred Kwadwo Afodour

Ropab :A defining issue in our Country democratic political history?]

To some critics the Ropab is a bill likely to throw our country into chaos and political abyss. They also, think it is an issue not worth sacrificing the stability of the country for. To others including me it is going to be one of the defining moments of our nation political history. Why will our mild mannered cautious President draw a line in the sand on an issue not important to most Ghanaians?

The NDC has been spoiling for a fight in an open effort to bring down this government.It was very subtle at the beginning maturing into the ineffective WAHALA demonstrations. It failed because it was an elitist' increase in gasoline prices' fight. In Ropab; the NDC believe they have an issue that have traction with the masses. They want to exploit the love hate relationship between Ghanaians and their relatives abroad. It is a political fight which was going to happen. The NPP has no choice but fight. To the wavering members of the ruling government do not think you are fighting for the unknown citizens abroad. You are fighting for the political survival of your party and democracy.

JJ at least is not a hypocrite. He has worked relentlessly to bring down this government since he reluctantly handed over power.His plan to rule the country through his Mills proxy failed miserably. He hates electoral democracy . That is understandable because he came to power via a violent revolution.To him the NPP is an upstart government. He cannot wait to see the second coming of NDC. Twenty years was not enough.The President, as clever but underestimated politician, knows the stakes. I hope his troops understand. It is a test of the political will of the ruling party. The NDC is like the proverbial neighborhood bully. Like all bullies they are cowards and very opportunistic.

They believe they have a fight they can win. History and the law is not on their side. The last time i checked they did not win the elections. They know with or without Ropab they cannot win an election. They have childishly played the tribal Ashanti hegemony card forgetting that the Danquah /Busia party is not an Ashanti party but very broad based. These are very dangerous desperate people looking for weakness to exploit. They are looking for a lifeline.It is a fight they are going to lose. However,they are brilliantly stupid. How many Ghanaians are willing to die because the government wants Ghanaians outside to vote? Very few misguided elements. Unless i am stupid.This is my advise: Do not pay these rascals as they boycott parliament. If they are receiving any allowances or housing cut them off immediately. They are not working and should not be paid.

If they cross the line jail them. Let them know there is a difference between democracy and anarchy. The only language these people understand is force. If they incite violence prosecute and jail them.They are frustrated because they underestimated the current government security apparatus. They will continue to test.

To the majority do not be daunted by the minority boycott. This is participatory democracy at its best. The minority have not been denied their right to participate. They have chosen not to. When you decided not to participate in 1992 the show went on.

Unleash grassroots campaign against them in their constituencies. They are representing the narrow interest of the NDC instead of the people who sent them to parliament. Force them to discuss their boycott action to their constituencies.Make them play defense.

The Western institutions want a peaceful democratic Ghana as an oasis in Black Africa. You have provided that.The President's formula is working.

He has stabilized the cedi, tolerated a vulgar opposition and traveled to let the World know we are there. The government can afford to spend real money on projects in this period leading to the 2008 elections, Ghanaians abroad are pouring money into the country, our debts are being forgiven, multinationals like GE are bullish about Ghana and the platform for take off is being built. The opposition knows they are reeling with resignations and closing of their window of opportunity. So what do they do? They hide behind Ropab to try and create mayhem and confusion. That is the only weapon they have. Violence and anarchy. The World is watching an immature opposition and it is a sad spectacle.

THEY KNOW THEY DO NOT HAVE A WINNING ISSUE. IT IS A TEST OF POLITICAL WILLS. DO NOT BACK DOWN. UNFORTUNATELY THE REAL LOSERS ARE THE ORDINARY GHANAIANS.



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