A campaign group called The Brand Of Returnees Ghana Abhors (BORGA) has reportedly presented a proposal to government asking for Returnees to be recognised as a distinct ethnic group.
The leader of the campaign group, Mrs. Bouji, contends that Returnees have a distinct identity that needs to be preserved and recognised as one of the constituents of our national identity. “We are Ghanaians, but like all the other ethnic groups that make up this beautiful country, we have our unique defining character. So like the Kwahus who are generally acclaimed to have a shrewd business acumen, we the Returnees speak with a twang and have a foreign certificate. In Ghana, our twang is the thang. It opens a lot of doors, but on the odd occasion, it rather opens us up to be fleeced by thieving taxi drivers. But we can live with that, the good days outweighs the bad ones.”
The group is also demanding that government creates an 11th region, a Returnee enclave where they can go to escape from the other Ghanaians. The group suggested that the whole of the Airport area and parts of East Legon and the Spintex Road be handed over to them. The Airport area will be the regional capital as this is believed to be the Returnees’ spiritual home. “This is the place our forebears exited and entered into this land we now call Ghana. It is fitting that we honour their memory by making this sacred place our regional capital,” Mrs. Bouji explained.
She also revealed that the Returnee region will have its own flag. It will have the same red, yellow and green colours as the national flag, but the black star will be replaced by a white star and within that star will be the image of three lions. The proposed region will also have its own motto: “Nous Partageons Le Fardeau De L’homme Blanc.” This French phrase translates into English as: “We share the white man’s burden.”
The Returnee region, according to the proposals, will be a semi autonomous entity. All non-Returnees wishing to reside in this region will be required to take a series of written and oral tests. The oral test will ensure that a potential non Returnee resident acquires a foreign twang before being allowed in. “We will prefer they adopt a British or American one but any twang will do as long as it isn’t Ghanaian or Nigerian.” Mrs. Bouji added.
Addressing the campaigners, a government spokesman reiterated the nation’s gratitude to Returnees not only for their remittances while they where abroad, but also for their role in improving customer service in the country. He admitted that their customary rants at inept restaurant staff and substandard mobile telecommunication services has ensured a marked improvement in customer service delivery in Ghana. He assured the group that government will examine their proposal and respond appropriately.