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Opinions of Saturday, 16 August 2014

Columnist: Ali, Kofi

The Citizen of Ghana and the State of Ghana

The government of Ghana is seriously negating its duty to its citizens and this continue to be so, because of misleading interpretations we are all fed with, at a point in our lives. The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is however, very clear about this in principle.
For example, I am expected by law to approach the state of Ghana as a citizen, if I give birth to a newly born baby boy or a girl, as the state is expected to know of the existence of the new person. The government of Ghana at this point, is expected to recognise and register the child. It is by law the duty of the state of Ghana, to decide how she wants every one of her citizen to be brought up.
So in approaching the state with the uncharted baby, I am seeking the permission of the state to be given an authority, on behalf of the government of Ghana to take care of the child, who is a citizen. The state givens me the first priority on the care of the child because of the biological connect but not limited, as the state still has the right to alternative options. in fact the state treats the situation like anyone adopting a child, in accessing me and my wife. As soon as the registration process is completed and I am acknowledged as the father of the child, I automatically become part of the government of Ghana, because I am officially acknowledged to be acting on behalf of the government of Ghana. I am actually delegated by the government to be responsible for her citizen, on behalf of the state.
The state can approach me at any point in time to check on how I am doing on the welfare of the child. And where the state is unsatisfied with my performance or standards, the state reserve every right to decide whether I should continue or not, as the career of the citizen in question.
In most developed countries, this is not a new practice as the state gives the custodians something, no matter how small, in confirming the above. The challenge is the ordinary Ghanaian. The phenomenon is alien to his culture and finds this form of fundamental right, strange. It is not the few rich in Ghana that are arguing with us that this is impossible, it is rather the majority poor victims, who struggle daily to bring up poor citizens for the rich employers to exploit and the government to tax.
Who then blame me for the failure of the child, when it is all left to me? How fare is it on the parents in Ghana when the state ask parents to part with everything, regardless to whether the child has eaten or not? Is the government implying that she does not want citizens anymore or the government want parents to be absolutely responsible for the citizens from whom the same state will be relying on later? If the state of Ghana has decided to have nothing to do with the upbringing of the citizen, who is then to be blame if a lot of the Ghanaian children are ending up as armed robbers? The state or the parents? Who put the person in prison when the individual grow into a social misfits? Who decides that the child has grown into an irresponsible citizen and so must be imprison? Who feeds the child when he grow into a criminal, while in prison? Who officially kills the child when he grow into a killer?
It is time we start demanding on the state for every child to be able to say with pride "this is what my country gave me monthly to become what i am today!" I blame my country for the down fall of any citizen and I hold my head high in blaming my country for it all!!! If this is what politics and politicians live for, then I am proud to be one!
Kofi Ali
ECRA (ECOWAS Citizens Right Advocates)