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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 November 2004

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

Should Ghanaians Living Abroad Be Registered to Vote?

"GSDM will never be satisfied as long as the Ghanaian remains a victim of Injustice".

"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 attaining Justice in Ghana". Prince Aidoo.

Fellow countrymen, the cock will continue to crow from the wilderness until his people who are still enjoying their endless sleep hears his voice. The New African will never be satisfied until justice is done in this country. Fellow countrymen, we?ve all heard the recent debate on whether Ghanaians living outside Ghana should be allowed to register to vote in any elections or not. This is an issue we shall never stop talking about till the law makers in our country bow down to the voice of his people who are demanding nothing but ?JUSTICE?.

Fellow countrymen,
In Article 42 of the constitution, it makes it abundantly clear that: ?Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda?. Plainly and unambiguously, this article grants the right to be registered to vote to any and all sane Ghanaians who are eighteen years or older without any residential qualifications .

Further, not only does article 42 extend the right to vote to every eighteen year old sane Ghanaian, but also the constitution imposes significant sanctions on any qualified Ghanaian who fails to register. For instance, one who is not registered to vote is disqualified from being a member of Parliament (MP) (see article 94(1)(a). One who cannot be an MP is disqualified from holding many public positions including a minister of state (see article 78(1); a member of the EC (see article 44(1); President or Vice President (see article 62(c); a member of the Public Services Commission (see article 194(3)(a); and a member of the National Commission for Civic Education (see article 232(3)?.

Fellow countrymen, this was the Constitution of our motherland which was laid down before the birth of those wicked politicians who have manipulated it to suit their political interests. Fellow countrymen, now let listen to what our unconstitutional former P/NDC government wrote: If article 42 is so clear, what then seems to generate this debate on who should and should not be registered to vote? The answer, annoyingly, lies in section 7 of PNDCL 284 (Representation of the People Law), which imposes a residency requirement for being registered as a vote. Like many of the PNDC laws that we fought so hard against, section 7 of PNDCL 284 ignores the plain mandate of article 42 and illegally imposes its own registration scheme. That unconstitutional section 7 provides that an eighteen year old citizen of Ghana who is of sound mind must be resident in a polling division, defined as having a place of abode in the division, before she can be registered. Further, the section provides that a person shall not be deemed to be resident in a polling division if she has been absent from her place of abode for a continuous period of six months ending on the qualifying date.

My fellow countrymen, why should I be accused of pursuing a `policy of the impossible` if I call on Ghanaians with clear minds, and ask them whether these wicked traitors, are not right to change our Constitution anyway they like? Are they not right because there is a distinction between real Ghanaians living in Ghana, and Ghanaians living elsewhere? Yes, they may be right because there is a saying that: If you have never seen death before, you just look at the face of someone sleeping and you can guess what death is. This means we should remember the first day these cruel people had the opportunity to rule our motherland. Did they have Ghanaians at heart?. If yes, then let me remind you of other changes they made in our constitution which says: ?The famous Indemnity clause 34 sec.(2) signed in 1992, says: ?It is not lawful for any court or tribunal to entertain any action or take decision or make any order or grant any remedy or relief in any proceedings instituted against the Government of Ghana whether before or after the coming force of this Constitution or against any person or persons acting in concert or individual to assist or bring about the change in government which took place on February 24, 1996, January 13, 1992, June 4, 1979, and December 31, 1981, in respect of any act or omission?. Have they not changed our constitution to suit their selfish-ends and to protect their evil deeds?. We shall deal with this later. They can run, but cannot hide from Justice. Fellow countrymen, have we forgotten this? Are they not right to change our Constitution at anytime and tell Ghanaians staying outside Ghana that they are not regarded as Ghanaians so-long as they stay outside Ghana more than six months?. Don?t they have the right to change our Constitution to suit their selfish ends because Ghanaians are cowards and are like lions with teeth and cannot bite? Who is a Ghanaian? Yes those Ghanaian strangers outside Ghana are not regarded as Ghanaians, but ironically, their remittances which is estimated about $1.4 billion a year from outside are welcomed. Yes, are we not only regarded as a Ghanaians when we send them money for their daily bread and for development purposes?. Just ask yourselves. It is about time we sleeping Ghanaian strangers adopt this name ?Alhaji or Hajia? which means ?Stranger?. This is the welcoming name given to those who visit Mecca. Ghanaians outside therefore should be called ?Strangers or Alhaji or Hajia? when we visit Ghana. Fellow countrymen, what do we have to say?. Have Ghanaians staying outside any rights?. When shall Ghanaians wake up to demand their human rights from such nefarious leaders?. When?. Why should I always be accused of pursuing a `policy of the impossible` when I ask my fellow ladies and gentleman when shall we realise that we have eyes but we cannot see?. When shall we realise that we have ears but we cannot hear?. I want someone out there to tell the New African when Ghanaians can ever develop without taking our destination into our own hands? When? Fellow countrymen, this is a question that the leader of the uprising Ghana Social Democratic Movement has answers to. The New African will make sure that this country of ours shall never again be ruled by politicians who have no respect and compassion for their fellow Ghanaians. The New African will make sure that the rule of ?LAW? and not the rule of ?LIES? prevails in our society. HE, will make sure that our youth will have special training that will ensure their loyalty to the nation. In addition, HE, will ensure that Ghana is for every Ghanaian no matter where you live. HE, will ensure that every Ghanaian will have the right to vote and contribute to the nation's overall development process. HE, will ensure that any identified Ghanaian will have the right to enter his country without a ?VISA? .

This WE, shall let the imperialist understand that no matter what type of passport you issue to the African, you cannot change his colour and mentality. They can dress the monkey anyhow they like, but it will remain a monkey serving like a slave in tranquillity. WE, will tell the Imperialist that they cannot change ?The African?. Let us wake up from our deep slumber. Fellow countrymen, why should I be accused of pursuing a `policy of the impossible` if we can make it possible for Ghanaians to register and vote where ever they are on this planet?. I leave this to your judgement. God bless you and forward ever.

Prince Aidoo Junior (Evangelist)
Ghana Social Democratic Movement.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage. Source: