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Opinions of Sunday, 3 March 2013

Columnist: Awudulai, Issahaque

The Dangerous Use Of Religion And Ethnicity

Political Appointments In The Upper West Region; The Dangerous Use Of Religion And Ethnicity As Determinants. BY ISSAHAQUE AWUDULAI

The Upper West Region has been blessed with an abundance of human resource in the infinite wisdom of the Most High God. This blessing has a purpose which supersedes and surpasses the imaginations and perceptions of humankind. Sadly however, the typical Upper Westerner has always over the years allowed parochialism traced along ethnic and religious lines to downplay the capacities and competencies of our choices in terms of leadership whether political or mainstream administrative set-up.

In fact, the choice of our political leaders has always been greatly influenced by which tribe one belongs to or better still which religion one practices. Most often than not, this trend leads to the appointment of incompetent, unqualified and unsuitable candidates to the detriment of otherwise qualified and competent contenders who could help lift our society unto an appreciable pedestal. Indeed, this trend has not shown any sign of evaporating from the political scene as we are about to exhibit this same wicked trend once more in the appointment of the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister.
Undoubtedly, as an up-coming politician, am very much aware of the many considerations that go into the appointment of a prospective deputy regional minister. These considerations include but not limited to; competence and capacity, as well as commitment and loyalty to party. However most importantly, any prospective nominee for this position must have exhibited certain character traits to the effect that many youth and citizens of the region would feel comfortable associating with him/her in as far as putting across their views and expectations are concerned. It is as a result of this that the citizenry and the youth of the upper west region in particular were so much enthused about the possible appointment of HON. ABU K. KANSANGABATA as the deputy upper west regional minister. Going down memory lane, ABU KK as a fresh graduate from the University was plugged by His Excellency Prof. Mills of Blessed memory to help implement the Vision of the President and the Party. I doubt whether this young man did not surprise the scores of people who doubted his ability to perform. Abu KK was able within the shortest possible time to forge an excellent working relationship with his subordinates at the assembly, his superiors everywhere, the Chiefs and People of the District and the Region as well as the party Leadership and supporters. This became testimonial when He was appointed the Secretary to the “GET ATTA MILLS ELECTED” Campaign for the Upper West Region and he did not disappoint in that role. Having discharged his responsibilities satisfactorily, it was not surprising that he was once more appointed the Upper West Regional Coordinator of the JM2012 Campaign. The NDC chalked a staggering 68% in the Presidential polls and won ten (10) parliamentary seats out of eleven (11) constituencies. Abu KK did a marvelous job as campaign coordinator as per the outcome of the elections. In fact, at a time when the youth of the Wa Central Constituency raised red flags about Hon Rashid Pelpuo and indicated quite strongly their intention of voting skirt and blouse to get him out, Abu KK served as the as the perfect mediator ensuring that a very competent candidate like Bernard Mornah never toppled the incumbent Rashid Pelpuo.
What else does the young man need to do to convince his party elders about his competence and capacity to serve as a deputy regional minister? Who doubts his loyalty and commitment to the party? But for parochialism and selfishness, there would be no reason for which anybody would be parading the corridors of power ostensibly to get Abu KK booted out as the prospective Deputy Upper West Regional Minister. It’s high time we overlooked pettiness founded on religion and ethnicity to allow for a certain sense of oneness and unity through which we can harness our individual strengths for the collective good of our society and our people. The NDC leadership in the UPPER WEST REGION should as a matter of urgency take a more pronounced and popular decision on the matter of the appointment of a Deputy Regional Minister in the interest of the Region and not for their selfish and parochial benefits. Since when has Abu KK’s religious and ethnic alignment become a determinant of whether he can serve the Upper West Region and Mother Ghana well or otherwise? Let our power brokers be reminded that if care is not taken with the way and manner in which religious and tribal cards are almost always used to sideline, abuse and alienate some categories of people, sooner or later, a major revolt would hit the NDC and forever weaken its base in the region.
I implore and appeal to the presidential advisors and staffers to do a very thorough job by helping the President in appointing a competent and qualified person like Abu KK so as to reward commitment and loyalty as against the self-centered proposals from people who care only about themselves and where they belong to as in religion and tribe. As a member of the Government’s Communication Team from the Upper West Region He ha s always been spot-on in stating the government’s position on matters concerning the government and party especially when the region is involved and equally offers in-depth responses to pertinent but crucial issues from the opposition in the region.
I am only sharing my thoughts as a citizen and those concerned should better have a second thought on this matter and subsequent ones.