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General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Source: The Republic

CODEC plan 'One Ghana' demo

The pressure group- Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenship (CODEC)- has scheduled a massive demonstration to protest the ethnocentric pronouncements being made by top guns of the opposition New Patriotic Congress (NPP).

The demonstration dubbed "ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE, WE ARE ALL EQUAL'' is inspired by President Mahama's call for peaceful co-existence of all tribal divides when he delivered his State-of-the-Nation's Address last week.

According to CODEC, it has been given the green light by the Ghana Police Service after a notice was served on the security agency as required by the Public Order Act.

Essentially, President Mahama was forced to make pronouncements on the seriously raging controversies over the tribally divisive strategies being hatched by the top hierarchy of the main opposition party, a situation which has reignited criticism of the NPP as being an overly tribalistic party with biases for Akans, particularly Asantes and Akyems.

The controversy was sparked by a secret tape recording of former Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who met the Council of Elders of the NPP at the plush Oyinka Hotel in Koforidua on January 29, 2015 to plan the disturbing trend.

"As a coalition championing equal rights for all Ghanaians, there could be no call worthy of commendation than that of the president on this special occasion," stated a press statement released by CODEC and signed by its Convener, Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo.

"We commend the President in urging "institutions to continue to inculcate a sense of unity, patriotism and nationalism in our people. Destiny brought us together as one nation. Our ethnic and cultural diversity is a source of strength, not a weakness. We must reject any attempt to sow any strife and discord among us," the CODEC statement read.

Already, Mr. Osafo Marfo has received intense public flak for his controversial statement. Groups and individuals from both within and outside the main opposition party have condemned the ‘diabolic plans' by the NPP to whip up tribal sentiments.

In the disturbing tape, the voice allegedly belonging to Mr. Osafo-Marfo was heard complaining about a perceived unfair distribution of resources to deserving ethnic groups in Ghana, saying that, though about 90 percent of Ghana's natural resources are concentrated in mainly Akan-speaking regions of the country, it is people who come from regions without resources- particularly from the Northern part of the country- that are governing these resources.

The voice, which mostly spoke in the local Twi language, was heard saying: "…You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources," the voice said.

"We should protect ourselves, we should protect our income. No one who is the source of income, the source of revenue, the source of resources, allows another person without those resources the chance (to rule over them). It's never done anywhere in the world. In the world over, it is the group with the most resources that rules and not the other way around," He continued.

"86.5 percent of resources in Ghana come from five regions: Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Central. This is where 86 percent of the resources of Ghana come from… And the oil was also discovered in the West. It will change the formula to about 90 percent. We cannot ignore these five regions. We should not," the voice on the tape added.

" In order to guarantee our freedoms and liberties as spelled out by the 1992 constitution, we must work hard to uphold the rights of all citizens irrespective of their tribal, ethnic or regional affiliations….Patriotism appears the only way to safeguarding our culture and our future. Only patriotic citizens would see the need to protect state properties when others are putting them to danger. Only patriotism would guarantee our peace as we will accord each other the respect required," CODEC stated.

"There can be no better time to call on Ghanaians to embrace oneness than this time. We regard the statement of the president as the most appropriate. His statement must be welcomed my all well-meaning Ghanaians who have the development of this country at heart," the statement concluded.