Who is a “Full Ghanaian”?

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

NPP MPAdamu Dramani is not a Criminal.

Buoyed by the fate of the jailed NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, the brave Victor Okaikoi is reported to have renounced his dual citizenship and has now morphed into a “full Ghanaian” (from half to full) in order to contend for a parliamentary seat. The latter is the gist of a news item carried by myjoyonline.com on the 9th of August, 2012. To assume that Victor Okaikoi, is or was not a full blooded Ghanaian before his renunciation is to imagine stupidity on steroids. No one can convince any reasonable Ghanaian that Victor Okaikoi, one whose life could easily have been lost to the ego driven maniac Rawlings, is less of a Ghanaian than Rawlings or any of the quislings that blindly follow him. In addition, I don’t think most Ghanaians understand why some, though fully committed to Ghana, their birth country, inevitably maintain Dual Citizenship out of necessity and for practical reasons. Victor Okaikoi is one of the lucky ones to escape the death binge of Rawlings and his churlish phalanx. He deserves our admiration for standing up against the callous and evil reign of Rawlings.

Who really is a “full Ghanaian”? Are the authorities in Ghana saying that MP Adamu Dramani is not a “full Ghanaian”? What did he do in his capacity as MP that turned out to be un-Ghanaian? What really is un-Ghanaian behavior? Why is the Ghanaian afraid of his or her blood brother or sister who has spent time overseas? Here is a gentleman who was born of Ghanaian parents, yet some, have engendered a constitution that vilify, castigate and jail innocent Ghanaians for wanting to serve. All this man did was to serve his people. What is it about Dual Citizenship that irks Ghanaians? If Dual Citizenship is such a horrible thing or carries no relevance, why is it honored by country Ghana? Should Dual Citizenship really qualify a born and raised Ghanaian to any real rights? Where is the evidence to show that dual citizens are less loyal? What really is the logical reasoning behind the need to marginalize our blood brothers and sisters? Let us assume that this fine gentleman is or was the best thing that happened to his district in his capacity as MP. Why should we throw him in jail? Why should we throw him out if his people voted for him? Did his people know him to be Ghanaian? Does he speak and eat their food? Does he have family and friends among them? Does he reflect their values, conventions and norms? This man was no stranger to his own kith and kin. Was he?

Given all the daunting challenges that resiliently confront Ghana, is jailing a Ghanaian with dual citizenship a priority? What does this say to those bonafide dual citizens? Back off? Is Ghana the same country that begs the likes of Ballotelli, Prince Boateng, Odonkor and others to come play soccer for the national team? Yet these same individuals are or will be second class citizens in Ghan? If this is not divide and conquer, what is? Why don’t these self hating clowns pass a constitutional amendment that makes it illegal for Dual Citizens to play for the Black Stars? Why not ban Dual Citizens from anything Ghanaian? What does Dual Citizenship mean in Ghana? This attempt to confine Dual Citizens to the bottom rung of the barrel must be repelled with the venom it deserves. I am so glad Ballotelli told these jokers to take a hike. I hope and pray that all Ghanaians with Dual Citizens or potential to be, refuse to do any donkey work for Ghana until this ignoble provision (94(2)(A)) is repealed. This is one of the most asinine provisions to find its way into Ghana’s warped constitution. What were they thinking?

I don’t know for sure but I have an inkling that this provision was inserted in the constitution out of envy or fear of resistance to autocratic rule. The case against Dual Citizenship is thin gruel. There is little or no evidence to prove that Ghana has a rising or gathering problem with betrayal by Dual Citizens. Those that betrayed Ghana from day one were “full blooded Ghanaians”. The very people that carved out this nonsense are those that continue to rob Ghana blind and hope that no one will have the courage to challenge them. Indeed, I am confident, that, the record will show lucidly, that, Dual Citizens have helped the cause of democracy, the economy and good governance more than some of these so called “full blooded Ghanaians”. Ghanaian born and bred Dual Citizens must not be only good for what they can do for Ghana. Forget that! They love the remittance but hate the people behind the honey flow. Damn!

A country like Ghana needs gargantuan dose of talent to pull through its development. Ghanaians must have the freedom to serve in any capacity they want. This is their country too! It makes absolutely no sense to marginalize or exclude from key positions, born and bred Ghanaian Dual Citizens, who are every bit as committed as the so called “full Ghanaian”. Are you telling a Dual Citizen standing next to his or her brother, sister, cousin or friend, that he or she is less of a Ghanaian? This is downright galling! If you want to see the beauty of dual citizenship, look at Israel. Now tell me that an Israeli is not committed to his or her country. Claptrap I say!

As a gesture of goodwill, President Mahama should immediately pardon honorable Adamu Dramani. Ghana must never jail its own for wanting to serve. There are bad laws and good laws. This is a bad law that should not only be challenged, but flouted inordinately till it is repealed and resigned permanently into the dustbin of national shame. Ghana must not nurse and enforce laws that scares away home bred talent and makes Ghanaians criminals in their own country for baseless reasons. If we are open to having Indians build our presidential mansion, the Chinese tile the tombs of our late president, and the British print our books, what really is our worry or fear with born and bred Ghanaians with Dual Citizenship? We should refrain from nursing acts, laws, conventions, and customs that serve to do nothing but further divide us for the gain of a misguided few. Adamu Dramani is not a criminal and ought to be freed now!!

Lastly, I hope this case will really begin the debate on who is a “full Ghanaian”. The term “full Ghanaian” can do nothing but inspire justified and glorified outrage. It is condescension at its apogee. In an age where blacks play on European teams, at the same time as whites and Asians feature on African teams, how do we define who a “full Ghanaian” is? Is it by his looks? Is it by “full” or “half” citizenship? Is it by blood? Is it by where he or she lives? Is it by his or her deeds? Is it by where his or her allegiance lies? How much allegiance is enough? Is it by how much one does for Ghana? Who really is a “full Ghanaian”? I hope this dated and jaded canard will raise the sanctified hullabaloo it deserves from well meaning Ghanaians. All well meaning Ghanaians must refuse to resile from the fight to make all of us truly free. We ought to be guided and bonded to the unyielding notion that every Ghanaian must be given unfettered opportunity to serve in any capacity that he or she so wish and choose to! Our inept government should not be in the business of picking and choosing who serves. Enough of the senseless divisiveness and arrant hate! Stop the senseless division and differentiation. Viva Ghana!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Affectionately hailed as the “Double Edge Sword) I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell----Harry Truman

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka