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Opinions of Sunday, 27 November 2016

Columnist: Adamu, Tanko Balik

Ordinary Northerners must speak against Haruna Attah’s ethnocentrism

Tanko Balik Adamu

The Editor,
November 25, 2016

Dear Sir/Madam,
Ordinary Northerners Must Speak Against Haruna Attah’s Ethnocentrism

Identifying one’s self as a member of a particular ethnic group under normal circumstances is not a bad thing. In fact the main and possibly only reason why we belong to ethnic groups, nationalities and races is identification. I’m not an overly religious person but I can recollect as a Moslem a verse in the Koran that can be paraphrased as “We created you into nations and tribes so you can identify each other”.

It is disheartening that very selfish and honestly greedy Ghanaians have resorted to the use of this identification tool as a tool for hate, division and rancor. These people always seek during election times to tell we the Northerners about how much other ethnic groups in Ghana hate us. They pitch us as Northerners against other Ghanaians. They tell us how Akans hate us and how much they do not want us to participate in the leadership and development of Ghana. They say all these things to us, not because they love us more than the people who they claim hate us. In fact our so-called northern lovers have done more harm and damage to all northerners than any Akan could ever do.

This preaching of hate has gone on for far too long. I as a person and an ordinary Northerner has had enough of it. I must speak up! I will urge other ordinary Northerners to speak up against this constant pitching of Ghanaians against Northerners. We can no longer leave it to the Southerners to continue to defend themselves while others rip the benefits of our hate. Over time, other ethnic groups will catch on. They too will begin to stick together and defend their own. We cannot afford it at that point. We need Northerners to rise up and say NO! We are Ghanaians and will not allow any selfish greedy politician to use us as a tool for hate. As a Northerner, I do not think any other Ghanaian hates me. If they do, it will not be solely because I’m a northerner. People from all walks of lives have so many reasons to hate me and it will be an act of laziness to settle on just the fact that I’m a Northerner. In fact how do people even know a particular Ghanaian is a Northerner? What distinguishes a Northerner from any other Ghanaian?

People like Ambassador Haruna Attah are selfish and greedy. Frankly they do not care a hoot about any other Northerner but themselves. Think about it! Ambassador Haruna Attah as a person until his discovery of his love for NDC (Should I say John Mahama?) was being catered for in totality by the Southerners who he is telling us to hate. They gave him jobs, they fought for his freedom when his current paymasters jailed him. Matter of fact he is married to a Southerner. If this is how to show hate, then I don’t know what Southerners will do with people like Ambassador Haruna Attah if they ever got to love him. The only reason why Ambassador Haruna Attah is weirdly remembering his lies and fabrications about Nana Addo and other NPP leading members (Southerners) is because he Ambassador Haruna Attah’s source of bread and butter is being threatened by the upcoming elections. The Ambassador is terrified of the consequences of the elections. He fears losing his daily bread. Out of this fear, he wants to take all Northerners with him. He wants to include all of us in his selfishness and greed. By making his problem our problem, he is hoping that we will be fooled once more to vote to protect his daily bread. We need to send a message to him and all other tribal bigots who want to exploit us. We need to let them know we are a hard-working group of people interested in protecting all of our daily bread not just Ambassador Haruna Attah’s daily bread.

At the heart of Ambassador Haruna Attah’s effusions is a disease: Inferiority complex! It is inferiority complex that is eating him up. Ambassador Haruna Attah as a Northerner does not think of himself as capable of winning anything against any other Ghanaian in an open play. He wants things to be handed to him and thinks every Northerner is like that. Sir we are not! A lot of us have had to fight for everything we have ever had in life. Nobody owes us anything and that is how it should be!
As Northerners, we sat in the same boarding schools with Ghanaians from everywhere. No special considerations were given to us. We took the same classes and had similar grades if not better than other Ghanaians. Why is it that when it comes to leadership we are asking for special considerations? Are we better than any other Ghanaian? There is only ONE Ghana! All Ghanaians have equal rights under the constitution. Leading a political party is not something that any one person can give. At least not within the NPP. The NPP opens the opportunities to all Ghanaians. The capable ones participate and slug it out until a winner is selected. So Mr. Haruna Attah, the other 16 Ghanaians who participated in the primaries alongside then Vice President Aliu Mahama to be selected as presidential candidate for the NPP did not take anything away from him. Being a presidential candidate is not a God given right to anybody including Vice President Aliu Mahama. He didn’t think that way about it himself. He as a patriotic Ghanaian accepted to compete for the votes of members of the party to represent the party. He lost the competition just like the other 15 candidates. He did not cry over it. None of them went to cry to their tribes mates that they lost because they were coming from a particular tribe. Vice President Aliu honorably served his term, continued to be a member of the NPP and was on the campaign trail when he was taken ill. He was committed to seeing Nana Addo become president of Ghana. He was mentoring Dr. Bawumia and was seen campaigning with him when he got ill. This is a testament of how great and selfless Vice President Aliu Mahama was. When you guys tucked your tails and run to join the looting brigade under various tribal pretenses, the great Vice President remained loyal to his party and country. It is shameful for Ambassador Haruna Attah to want to exploit a noble dead man for his selfish greedy purposes. Ambassador Haruna Attah must apologize to all Northerners for his gossip and lies.

We ordinary Northerners are speaking up because, we know our capabilities. We are Ghanaians and will not allow this fake North-South divide to diminish our citizenship as Ghanaians. We are not just representing Northern needs. We are representing Ghanaian needs! Developing the North is equal to developing Ghana. Equally any other part of Ghana being developed is good for the Northern part of Ghana. We are a connected group of citizens. The development of the North will be meaningless unless it is linked to the total development of Ghana and vice versa. It is for this reason that the NPP originally called for a Northern Development Fund and Authority. If Ambassador Haruna Attah actually loves the North and all of Ghana, he will help us retrieve every Kobo wasted in the name of SADA. If he loves all Ghanaians, he will help ensure the success of SADA and actually eradicate poverty. Until these things are done, I personally will not appreciate any reference to this fake love of Northerners by a selfish person like the Ambassador.
Continuously hopping on some favors that some people did not give to Northerners is an insult to all Northerners. The thinking that Northerners are incapable of achieving anything unless it is handed to us by Southerners like Nana Addo, Addo Kufour and Hackman Owusu is an insult to all Northerners. We are a hard-working group of people and can achieve anything we set our minds on. A Northerner has been a presidential candidate for NPP tradition before and a Northerner has been the president of Ghana before. This was way before the founding of the NPP so where is this balderdash of Northerner Leading the NPP coming from? Northerners have been party chairmen, vice presidential candidates for the NPP long before Haruna Attah’s current party ever thought Northerners could do anything.

To sum up, in as much as we are a collection of people of similar cultures in the North, we are made up of individuals of varying capabilities and knowledge. We have different strengths and weaknesses and each one of us has a content of character that should be evaluated and used for the development of our country. We can no longer accept the shameful lumping of all of us together as a collection of weaklings who must be protected and favored by people from either the south or the North. Ghanaians should judge all of us equally and as Ghanaians. People like Ambassador Haruna Attah are those insulting us and we will appreciate it if they will at least offer us some modicum of respect.

Thanks for reading and publishing my story!

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