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21.02.2006 Feature Article

ROPAB: Can we move on... Please.

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Many arguments have been put forth, for or against ROPAB. It amazes me that at a time when we have (or will have)our debts forgiven, we think it is a wise idea to increase our expenses, especially when we still are dependent on donor sponsorship for budgets including that needed for elections.

Not only do all Ghanaians have a stake in this issue, but also the donor community must express their true thoughts. After all they will be approached to finance it. We would be smart as a nation to target real issues now and leave this extra process alone.

If voting is such a big deal for the Ghanaian in the Diaspora, and they are well meaning, then they need to understand that this step is quite big, especially now, considering the financial drain and especially the logistical part of needs of this process.

We must have our priorities in order. One argument which has no merit, but is at the core of the argument is that folks from the Diaspora a remitting money so in essence they have the right to seek this benefit of citizenship. Well, the funds remitted does not get lodged in any state account for national development.

Much of this goes to individual personal consumption so what benefit do you need when you are only doing what is obligated by family members and friends. Extending a hand to people close to you is simply an obligation you have, and of course only gets met when you can afford to do so. This argument needs to go.

For now, It is believed that this issue is too divisive, and this entire process cannot be managed without the potential for real negative issues in the future. We simply do not have to money and personnel to do this right. This aspect of managing the process is real.

It has been said in the past, that at some point the donors will slowly withdraw their support in the future, especially in terms of the size of contributions, as they expect a windfall from the debt relief. As such, when the axe comes down on how much they can contribute to our national budget in the future, which program will lose funds to fund this bill for voting rights for Ghanaians living abroad?

It is believed that the choice of government and national policy direction needs to stay with those "full time " citizens. The 'part-timers' (those running between Ghana and abroad) can stay partime and contribute here and there.

When the decision to vote moves up higher in their personal priority list, they can decide to become full time citizens. Think about it. If this issue is such an issue for those living abroad, then this could somehow work as a "pull" factor for some of our brothers and sisters to come home.

Life is simply about choices we make and this is one.

The issue needs to take a back seat to more real issues affecting those who have voted for a government and have some needs and expectations to be met.

Lets get to the business of national development and leave this alone. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Ako Folson
Ako Folson, © 2006

The author has 58 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: AkoFolson

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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