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General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Source: Charles Addo-Darko

I Did Not Say All Northerners Are Cattle Farmers- Ursula Owusu

The Parliamentary Candidate for Ablekuma West Constituency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Madam Ursula Owusu has clarified comments she made on Accra based radio station Okay FM, where she is reported to have described Northerners as cattle rearers.

According to the NPP parliamentary candidate, her comments were not directed at all to northerners but rather, at specific people within the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The Coalition of Northern Youth Groups at a press conference accused Madam Ursula Owusu of insulting all Northerners when she referred to some as cattle rearers, and therefore called on the leadership of the NPP to redraw her parliamentary candidature.

The group indicated that, Madam Ursula Owusu said “but for free education, NDC stalwarts like Alhaji Insuah Fuseini will be rearing cattle because that is what uneducated Northerners do.”

Speaking to Citi News, Ms. Owusu said she did no wrong because she was only defending Nana Addo’s free SHS policy.

She noted “What I said was that the last people who should kick against the free SHS policy should be those who benefited from it. They should rather be championing it because they are living examples of how education has transformed their lives and I cited specifically the president, Haruna Iddrisu, Alban Bagbin, Muhammad Mumuni, Ben Kumbuor and Inusah Fuseini.”

“Those who benefited from free education; who became ministers of state, members of parliament, doctors and lawyers. I asked ‘why don’t they want the same for the other Ghanaian children so that their lives will also be transformed’,” she complained.

Ms Owusu further questioned, “If you are living in the South and haven’t been to school, chances are you will be a petty trader somewhere. Similarly, if you are in the North and didn’t go to school, you will either be a farmer or go into animal husbandry and I do not see that as an insult. Are they saying cattle rearing or farming is bad?”

She advised the group to rather direct their anger at those in authority who benefited from free education rather than at her, but rather…“They are shooting at the wrong target. They should turn their anger and frustrations to those who do not want them to benefit from free education and are saying we should wait till we have the entire infrastructure”.

“When Kwame Nkrumah started free education in the North, there was only one middle school. He didn’t say there were no school buildings so we can’t have free education”. She added.