Accra, Feb. 9, GNA - The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Thursday said it still stood by its decision that the Government should suspend the passage of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill (ROPAB).
Mr Adam Gariba Malik, Local NUGS President, University of Ghana, told a press conference in Accra that the NUGS President, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa did not err in reiterating the stance NUGS took two years ago.
The press conference was to react to statements made by Mr Ransford M.K. Addo, representing some blocs of NUGS, in which he dissociated the blocs from the statements made by Mr Ablakwa. The blocs represented by Mr Addo included the Ghana Union of Professional Students, University Students Association of Ghana and the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana.
Mr Malik said the comments made by Mr Ablakwa in a radio interview were not inconsistent with the stance of NUGS and since that decision had not been changed by any other decision-making body or the Central Committee it still represented NUGS stand.
He said that the stance of NUGS was widely carried by the press and made reference to a GNA news item of March 11, 2004, under the headline: "Ghanaians Abroad Vote: NUGS Protest."
"Mr Ransford Addo has been consistent in pursuing his diabolical plan and dragging our great Union through the mud. We the rank and file of NUGS wish to expose him and inform him and the public that he has no mandate to speak for NUGS."
Mr Malik said NUGS, consisting of bloc heads, SRCs and local NUGS Presidents, who constituted the membership of the Central Committee, the highest decision-making body, reaffirmed its unflinching support for the President and urged him to remain focused.
The GNA reported on March 11 2004: "The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Thursday called on Parliament to suspend the amendment of the Representation of People's Act until broad consultations were held with stakeholders.
"It said that since the country did not have a reliable data on Ghanaians living abroad, it would be difficult to estimate how many of them are eligible to register and vote in the December elections. "This was contained in a statement issued by NUGS in Accra on Thursday and signed by it President Kenneth Abotsi to protest the amendment of the Act.
"The statement said although NUGS agreed that all eligible Ghanaians, both home and abroad, are to register for the elections, it stands against the amendment on the grounds that the Electoral Commission did not have the capacity to carry out such an exercise in view of the challenges facing it.
"It said NUGS concern was that the Act had been in the statute books since Independence but that to amend it without thorough discussions by the Ghanaian populace was improper and unfair. "The statement called on President John Agyekum Kufuor to remember his Independence Day pledge to a level playing field for all political parties to ensure free and fair election.
"Rushing the amendment of the Act without taking cognisance of the ability of smaller parties to send observers to foreign missions abroad is indeed not going to level the playing field", the statement added." 9 Feb. 06