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General News of Tuesday, 6 December 2016


Northern youth charged to abhor violence

The Northern Development Forum (NDF) has strongly appealed to youth of the three regions in Northern Ghana “not to be goaded and bribed by unscrupulous, greedy and selfish politicians” to cause any form of mayhem in the upcoming general elections.

The NDF, a non-partisan, non-ethnic and non-religious body was formed by people of northern descent to galvanize support from people in and outside the area to fashion out lasting solutions to some of their perennial problems.

At a press conference in Tamale which was used as a platform to launch the 2015 Northern Ghana Development Status Report (NGDSR), Chairman of the NDF, Dr Hakeem Wemah, charged the youth to abhor violence no matter the motivation.

“…let me be very candid with you, the general impression in the country about us (youth in the North) is that we are a thoughtless and violent people. Aye the cradle of political, ethnical and occasional religious upheavals! Any trouble in the country post-elections is predicted by all the pundits to likely come from the NORTH!

Let us shame them….A conflagration in any part of Ghana will eventually engulf and annihilate the whole country if not checked or nipped in the bud! We must all solemnly say to violence NEVER, NIET, JAMAIS, NUNCA, LA DABIDA, KWATAA…No political party is worth dying for… I’m not asking you to DIE for Ghana – I’m asking you to LIVE for Ghana!” he entreated.

The NDF was constituted in 2007 following the heavy rains that hit the three Northern regions leaving in its wake the destruction of life and property valued at several millions of cedis and rendering thousands homeless.

It is an advocacy group for promoting the development of the three regions of Northern Ghana. Commenting on the report, Dr Wemah said its content focuses on the “positive” side of issues and does not lament the poverty status of Northern Ghana” nor does it “engage in any blame-game or finger-pointing”.

“We’ve to first appreciate what has happened and is happening and tease out the positives that can be up-scaled and consolidated as well as state the challenges that need to be addressed….Through this report, NDF wishes to provoke inputs and proposals as no one has absolute mastery of all issues and ideas to move the North out of poverty,”

To him, the seasonal migration of able-bodied youth from the North to other areas in search of livelihoods under precarious conditions is an indictment to our nationhood, and thus considers the NGDSR as “timely”.

“We need a vision of national development that prioritizes and harnesses the full potentials of Northern Ghana and every other part of the country.

Such initiatives should not be tokenistic but all embracing, and embedded in national development strategy…We of the NDF feel that the Northern Ghana Development and Policy Status Report comes timely to guide the entire nation in her envisioning for a better future…,” he added.