Feature Article of Sunday, 6 May 2012

Columnist: Boateng, Joseph

A Decorated Monkey Is Still A Monkey

The first time I heard this maxim, I really laughed my heart out to the extent of drawing people’s attention to myself. That was a nuisance! Being curious, I asked the person to explain why he made that statement and the reason behind that saying. To him, no matter the amount of make up a woman applies to her face or the body, it can never change who you really are- when you are ugly, you still remain ugly. (It seems a bit questionable because to others, beauty can be purchased from the shop). A slave can never become a Prince or Princess; neither a crab to a bird. Man cannot be changed to a woman and vice-versa. Even though scientist have tried to change people’s sex- from a boy to girl (Transgender Miss Universe Canada, Jenna Talackova). We cannot cheat on nature no matter how hard we try and smart we are. From his explanation, I somehow agree with him on certain things but not on everything. He is entitled to his opinion.
Ever since the biometric registration began, there have been packets of incidents- people being molested, bullied, others being denied of their right to enfranchisement; foreigners being allowed to register, though they do not qualify. How can we allow aliens to take part in our internal affairs freely and fight among ourselves as Ghanaians simply because they suspect they do not live in that constituency? This is ridiculous. It can never happen anywhere else in the world. Not even in our neighbouring countries. I am yet to be told the last time a Ghanaian resident in a foreign country was allowed to vote in an election. Just recently, four Ghanaian cops (policemen) in uniform were busted in one of the Togolese villages which shares border with Ghana. How sad. Even Ghanaian security personnel are being arrested for unlawful entry in a neighbouring country. Why then do we have to allow foreign nationals/ civilians to the extent of sponsoring them to come and register in our elections? Think twice. Let us come together as Ghanaians irrespective of your political ideology or party, tribe, religion etc. and fish these foreigners out. They cannot be allowed to choose our leaders for us, go live in their country while we suffer the consequences.
The Ivorian civil war and other war torn countries did not just wake up one day and started butchering and shooting themselves like that. It was because one party claimed/ accused the other of using foreigners ( Burkinabes) to win and that he was not going to hand over power but rather use force to stay in government leaving innocent civilians killed.
Elections are the only opportune time that the electorates use to evaluate and assess the performance of their leaders. No foreigner is allowed to vote in a general election of a country.
A foreigner is someone who has not attained the citizenship status even though he might be a permanent and legally resident in that country. The fact that you are a permanent resident does not make you a citizen. Even in the United States of America and some other developed countries, you can be a permanent resident with your Green card, Social Security, State ID card and or a Driver’s License, you still are not a citizen until you are due to take your citizenship test or the processes before you can be allowed to take part in that kind of exercise. The same way our football stars or sportsmen and women, who are plying their trade in foreign countries legally, can never vote or take part in the internal affairs of those countries.
To the electoral commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan and your august team don’t forget that the fate of Ghanaians is entrusted in your hands. It is never too late to trash out these aliens from our voting register. Ever since Ghana became a democratic State, you have chalked successes for yourself and mother Ghana thereby being allowed to conduct elections in some other African countries. Please, never let the bad ones among the good politicians influence you this time to dent / tarnish your hard won image. Please, Dr. Afari Gyan, stand firm for our dear nation. We the good people of this great nation are behind you physically and spiritually. A moment delay may be a moment too late for us all.
To my honourable politicians, we know you all are willing to serve this country whole heartedly, but there are some bad nuts among you who will want to cause chaos and disturb the peace we are enjoying. Please, do come together and salvage the situation for us.
To my fellow Ghanaians, please don’t look at this article from a political point of view but rather in a nationalistic way and lets all with one accord come together and save our dearest mother, Ghana.