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11.12.2005 Feature Article

Letter To The Press

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Sir,

I should be most obliged if you would accord me space in your esteemed newspaper so as to enable me share a few thoughts on the ongoing democratic process in Ghana today. As a Ghanaian living in the UK, I share, hopefully with most of my compatriots here in the UK, a keen interest in the socio-political and economic developments back at home.

After all, for the vast majority of my friends, we continue to nurture the hope for a safe return home sooner than later. As such, we continue to pray that the democratic culture in the country, which is becoming ever more entrenched each day, would remain a lasting legacy to future generations, by the NPP Administration and that Ghana's future will remain bright for children yet unborn.

We are all witnesses to recent events and happenings which particularly give hope that democracy in Ghana may have come of age and may now be here to stay. These can be summarised, in a nutshell, in the total commitment of our leaders to the democratic principles of good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights, all underpinned by an inexorable drive of the leadership towards the achievement of the millennium development goals by 2015.

Perhaps there can be no better proof of this commitment from our current crop of leaders than the stoic determination of President Kufuor to maintain calm and equanimity in the face of strident and ever increasing media attacks on the man's integrity often without any proof.

Attacks against the President and members of his government, led by the detractors of the NPP party, the ruling party, have to my mind only succeeded in showing one thing – that our country has come a long way on this journey of democratic experimentation. When?, one may ask, in the annals of our country's history have we enjoyed such heights in the level of tolerance exhibited by our leaders, tolerance which now enables members of the public to attack, fearlessly, not just government policies but private affairs of our leaders, in the firm knowledge that their basic freedoms or rights will not be adversely affected, come hell or high water.

That the Ghanaian President has exhibited high level of tolerance to both opponents and critics alike is evidenced in the stoic manner exhibited and impressing upon the body politik that political opponents are not enemies, and need not be enemies.

Perhaps a lasting legacy which H.E. the President will bequeath to Ghanaian diasporians will be the passage of the People's Representation Amendment Bill. When passed into law, the Bill will grant suffrage to Ghanaians abroad who are currently disenfranchised under PNDC Law 284 which grants limited voting rights, to only Ghanaians in the diaspora working in the Foreign Service or international organisations. Sadly, these efforts to grant voting rights to all Ghanaians regardless of their geographic location has been misinterpreted as serving the personal agenda of His Excellency.

Thankfully, many in Ghana and in the UK have a keen sense of appreciation for President Kufuor's achievements both in and outside the country's borders.

It would be recalled how the reputation of the President and indeed that of Ghana was greatly enhanced, during the period of the Prersident's stewardship as Chairman of the sub regional body, ECOWAS. As he tried to douse the fires of ethnic and religious hatred in neighbouring countries, the reputation of Ghana as a land of peace, headed by a leader widely seen as a peace maker, gained currency both within and beyond the country's borders. The international financial community, impressed with Ghana's focussed economic policies which have led to macro-economic stability, helped push the President's dream of further economic development and poverty alleviation by making a commitment towards debt cancellation for the country and an HIPC programme which was taken to completion point within a record time frame.

As a result of measures taken by the international financial community, the stage now appears set for a faster growth which will allow the people of Ghana to reap the benefits of the good governance agenda set by the NPP Administration.

In conclusion, let me note that while we may not always agree with government policies and actions, we continue our efforts towards our common goal of ensuring that the democracy, which grants us all the right to air our views freely, without fear of persecution, prevails in our land. That we strengthen our commitment to never again allow military adventurist or pseudo politicians who only criticise governments either because it seems fashionable or serves in the pursuit of their agenda, to derail the democratisation process in our country.

Thank you.

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

Kofi Nyamekye
Kofi Nyamekye, © 2005

The author has 1 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KofiNyamekye

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