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General News Mon, 30 Apr 2001

Time To Come Back Home

An appeal has been made by Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, leader of a Ghanaian economic delegation currently in the United States of America, to Ghanaians living abroad to come home and help take the nation out of the economic ruins it had been put by the Rawlings regime.

This appeal could not have come at a better time. Twenty years of traversing the rough roads of the Rawlings era, without doubt, has cost the nation a lot, for many of the professionals that this nation would have needed to help build and put it on the road to prosperity were forced to run into exile and are now living abroad.

No matter how hard the urge to come back home was, most of these self-exiles found it unsafe to do so, as the previous administration made this desire impossible with its demonstrated hatred for those who had different views from theirs. Even with the onset of democracy back in 1992, it was hoped that finally, our brothers and sisters abroad would find their way back home.

But far from it. . .the iron teeth of victimisation were still bared making democracy at the time, a commodity which upon attainment had no meaning because majority of Ghanaians who thought they would see their sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, as well as other loved ones, back home were woefully disappointed as that wish remained a romantic dream. All was not lost, Ghanaians who are very patient and religious people, continued praying that the Almighty God would take away the demons that had bedevilled the land, and turned the land of our birth into land of our death, that they would once more breathe the breath of peace, love, unity and oneness that this land once enjoyed.

But today, we as Ghanaians can all say with unwavering pride, that our prayer, patience and long-suffering under the arms of cruelty and dictatorship have paid off. Our long awaited dream of putting an end to tyranny finally arrived on December 28, 2000.

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The wall of fear that prevented our dear brothers and sisters in exile from coming had come crushing down with the same intensity that characterised the falling of the walls of Jericho. We need them to come and partake in the arduous task of rebuilding the nation that has been left in ruins.

It is against this backdrop that we add our voice to the call by the Ghanaian economic delegation, led by Hon. Osafo Maafo, Minister of Finance, currently in the US, to all Ghanaians living abroad to take advantage of the new freedom to help contribute to the nation's development.

It could not have come at a better time. We believe that if there is anytime in the history of our dear country that we all need to build our nation, then this is the time.

They now have a good cause to come back home. The battle for this new found freedom had been a hectic one.

Our fight must not be in vain, all and sundry must see this new opportunity and embrace it.

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They must return home with whatever they have been able to gather all these years, no matter how little, and invest to make this nation the proud one it used to be. It is recognised that for all these years that our dear brothers and sisters have been abroad, the remittances they have been sending have in no small way contributed to our economy.

Those outside must not forget that they still have relatives and friends here who need them. No matter how long they live in another man's land and no matter how free they feel in another man's land, there can never be a substitute for the land of their birth to which they have pledged to uphold and defend.

The time is now. We call on them to respond to this clarion call and help make Ghana a better place to be.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle