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General News | Jun 24, 2004

In Kufuor’s Ghana Everything Is Upside Down

The Lens

Even as the National Commission on Civic Education is spending huge sums of the taxpayers' money running adverts on the need to respect the symbols of our statehood, a state institution like the Electoral Commission (EC) has shown total disregard for our national colours, with everybody looking on, apparently unconcerned.

Majority of persons who trooped the various registration centres to complete the voters' registration process were shocked to find that the national tri-colour of Red, Yellow, and Green, with a black star in the centre of the yellow, has been turned upside down. The colours printed on the registration slips handed to those who completed the registration exercise is Green, Yellow, and Red, with a black star in the middle of the Yellow. The misrepresentation of the colours on the voters' slip has been a source of affront to the nationalistic senses of many people. However to most people the EC's studied silence on the matter, as if it is of no significance, is rather adding insult to injury.

To make matters worse, the President of the Republic, Mr. J. A. Kufuor, the man who is supposed to be the personification of our nation for the period that he is President of the state, has been issued with a similar slip and he apparently did not find anything wrong with this apparent gross dereliction of duty on the part of whoever was in charge of its procurement.

A senior citizen, Opanyin Yaw Kraku, who could not contain his indignation at the misrepresentation of the national colours, described it as outrageous, and said, “is it any wonder that you see Ghanaians flying the Union Jack of the United Kingdom and the Stars and Stripes of the United States of America, especially, in their cars? After all officialdom itself does not place much premium on our national colours so why should the ordinary Joe?”

“When you do things like these how do you expect people to be imbued with a sense of nationalism and the desire to die for one's country? We have trivialised our nationhood by this single irresponsible act,” Opanyin Yaw fumed.

An NPP activist, Kwame Frempong, told The Lens, “the NPP must be very grateful to the NDC for kicking against the procurement committee proposed by the NPP government, otherwise this thing would have seriously embarrassed government.”

“This is too serious to sweep under the carpet, someone must be seen being punished for this. The stark irony of it all was what struck me foremost. Take for example, Nigeria, where people were refused public office because they could not recite the Nigerian national pledge,” John Amengor, a political analyst posited.

“When one juxtaposes the Nigerian case against this, one expects that heads would literally roll. It is highly unacceptable, and the EC should not insult us once again with their ready-made explanation of “human error”. This is one human error too much, and too grievous,” Mr. Amengor pointed out.

Meanwhile, most Ghanaians are wondering when the EC would issue a statement on the matter to tell Ghanaians why and how it happened, and what would be done to correct it.

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