General News of Thursday, 8 September 2011

Source: William Yaw Owusu

Nima Youth Demand Apology...Over Flagstaff House Comment

Sapta, a youth group at Nima in Accra, says it will ‘advise’ itself if comments by one of President John Evans Atta Mills’ henchmen that the Jubilee/Flagstaff House is close to Nima is not retracted and apology rendered.

In his attempt to rubbish the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) call on President Mills to move into the country’s presidential palace, Jubilee House, Sam Pee Yalley, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) advised the President not to live there because it is close to Nima, a suburb of Accra.

On Radio Gold’s ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’ programme, Mr. Yalley, a legal practitioner said, “President Mills: “Sir, don’t move there today or tomorrow because there could be traps.”

“I do not think the Jubilee House or whatever they call it should be any place that the President should live. There is even an Embassy (French) behind it, Jesus Christ…TV3 is at the corner…Nima is at the place there,” he explained.

But his comment has incensed the youth of Nima who held a news conference in Accra yesterday.

Abdul Aziz, a spokesperson said “we demand from Sam Pee Yalley and the NDC government an immediate apology to the elders of Nima and the Zongo communities.”

“Let everybody especially the NDC hear this!!! If our demand for answers and a retraction and apology is not met within a reasonably time period as would be determined by us we shall fervently advise ourselves.”

He said “we wish to affirm our commitment to fighting any politics of disregard, disrespect, loose talk, arrogance and shear display of contempt to the electorate and the people of Ghana and wish to urge you to collaborate with us to expose not only conceited politicians but also to purge this country of the politics of degrade.”

He said nobody should make a mistake of equating Nima for a war front, adding, “Nima is a human-inhabited geographical location in Ghana. It is a suburb of Accra and I am sure that we are all quite familiar with Nima.”

“We, the Nima ‘Sapta’ Youth cannot understand the mental processes that culminated in this absurd observation made by Mr. Yalley. Clearly, it is a measured but rather vague vituperation and an affront not only to the largely Muslim community of Nima, but also to many well-meaning Zongo communities across the length and breadth of this country.”

Abdul Aziz said Nima is the same community that former President J.J. Rawlings ‘frequented’ to ‘fraternize’ with the people and carried out his famous gutter-cleaning exercises and it was also a place where renowned and respected Islamic scholars including Haji Shaib, Mallam Bashir and Sheikh Ridwan reside.

He said the Nima Sapta Youth has witnessed “several levels of discussions of the degrading, demeaning and derogatory statement” by Sam Pee Yalley and wished to address the concerns of the community to the Mills-Mahama Government and the NDC.”

They said politicians, particularly NDC members had used Nima to gain political power but neglected them and failed to fulfill the numerous campaign promises made to them.

Adam Sabo, one of the spokespersons during questions and answers session, said the government should not single out Nima as its reason for President Mills not using the facility.

He said “the persistent disparaging remarks about residents of Nima have made it impossible for the youth here to get decent employment yet we have always voted for the NDC massively.”