I was in my early teens when I first heard the word referendum. It was a new vocabulary but very often and laud on radio. It was in jingles, drama, songs, debates, news all over the place.
I went to my school teacher, the Mr. Okoampa to enquire the meaning. He said to me, it was a system of seeking the opinions of the entire matured people in the country to enable the government take a decision on an important national matter.
What could that important matter be? I was told it was Union Government which was popularly referred to, at the time, as UNIGOV. I was not matured then to offer any opinion through the voting system as required by law but was very keen to know and understand what exactly it was.
Former Head of State, Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong who had seized power, had promised Ghanaians of improvements in the quality of life which was on based his government’s programs of nationalism, economic development, and self-reliance.
I was told that in order to entrench and perpetuate, if you like, his position as the Head of State, he dreamt of a concept of Union Government (UNIGOV), which would make Ghana a non-party state.
Union Government was simply a government in which “the military and the Police were to join the civilian population to fashion out a concept of government in which political parties were to be kicked to touch forever.”
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