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Politics of Thursday, 1 December 2016

Source: The Catalyst Newspaper

Ga-Dangme Chiefs endorse Mahama

Ga-Dangme Chiefs have spoken. And they are explicitly clear in their message. They want President John Dramani Mahama to retain power in this year’s election and have accordingly told their people to vote for the President his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) on December 7.

Their position is simple: Gã-Dangmes will vote for the party which respects their dignity as a people. Gã-Dangmes will vote for the President who is changing the lives of Ga-Dangme people and transforming Ga-Dangme land.’ “JM tsano,” the proclaimed.

In other words, the Ga-Dangme chiefs have told their people to, on December 7, reject the party and presidential candidate that disrespect them and seek to trample on their dignity and ethnic identity , with impunity.
When the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, embarked on his Greater Accra campaign tour for President Mahama last week, he had the President’s message in his mouth for the Chiefs and people of Ga-Dangme. He asked the chiefs and people to retain President Mahama and the NDC in power on December 7.

The first point of call by the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, was the Nungua Traditional Council. That was where the Nungua Mantse dropped the first bombshell.

His Royal Majesty, Odaifio Welentsi III, did not mince words when he pointed out that ''Some people have said that Gãs are useless. Some have said that no Gã qualifies to become running mate and vice president in their party. Some have also said that Gãs should be attacked and killed,” adding that “Listen to what the political parties are saying. I won't tell you to vote for party A or B, but reject those who speak against Gãs.”

The Nungua Mantse had the full support of the other chiefs present. A number of them also stated clearly in separate speeches that they as chiefs have every right to decide which political party they want to work with in government in developing Gã-Dangme land, and that presently they have an ally in President Mahama and the NDC, who respect their ethnic identity and dignity as a people, an ally for the development that they need and so would do everything in their power to ensure victory for the ruling party in the election.

Without a doubt the Gã chiefs are calling on their people to reject NPP and vote for the NDC because the NDC respects all tribes and grants people from all tribes the opportunity to lead. The NDC has already given an Ewe, a Fanti and a Gonja the opportunity to be President of Ghana. They are confident that one day, Gã-Dangme will have its turn. And so they stand a better chance supporting the NDC which does not discriminate against any tribe.

It is on record that the Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, had insultingly said that there is no “high profiled” Ga-Dangme worthy of choice by the NPP flagbearer as running mate and potential vice president. To him, Gã-Dangmes don’t match up to NPP’s standard for even the second highest office of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana. According to him, the only one who could fit the bill is the “too old” Prof Mike Oquaye whose age automatically disqualifies him.

It is on record that NPP Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, in 2012, called for the killing of Gãs and Ewes.

It is on record that NPP’s Kofi Kapito of the Consumer Protection Agency fame in the run up to the 2012 elections said repeatedly in a political debate on radio that “Gãs are useless.”

It is also on record- and this is what makes it even more unconscionable- that the NPP and its leadership have demonstrated an open endorsement of these reckless comments of leading members of the party by throwing their full support behind the perpetrators.

Till date, not even a face-saving apology has come from either Kennedy Agyapong or Kofi Kapito to the Gã people for the dangerous comments they made about them. Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu's rather lame apology obviously has been taken with a pinch of salt.

Can anybody blame Gã chiefs for taking a stance against the NPP in this year’s elections? Of course not! This is a party that has consistently sought to desecrate the very core of the existence of Gã-Dangmes.

When the minority leader flagrantly made the insulting comment about Gã-Dangmes, he could not have been unaware of the fact that he was attacking the dignity of a whole ethnic group.

When the NPP maverick mouth shooter and MP for Assin Central, ‘declared war’ on his Oman FM and charged his party’s militants to slaughter ethnic Gãs and Ewes, he could not have been oblivious of the dire consequences of his reckless comment.

When NPP’s Kofi Kapito made that reprehensible comment about Gã-Dangmes, he was not muttering audible words from a dream in a deep sleep. He certainly spoke from the abundance of the hearts of leading members of that party, which appears to have formed this dangerous mind-set of the tribal bigots in that party against some ethnic groups including Gã-Dangmes.

It is time for reality check, as the chickens have come home to roost. The two leading political parties- NDC and NPP- are intensifying their campaigns ahead of this year’s elections nationwide and like in all the other places, are knocking on the doors of the people of Gã-Dangme for their mandate.

The Gã-Dangme chiefs and people are telling the NPP that they cannot eat their cake and have it. Especially when till date, the party has not ensured that an unqualified apology is rendered for the derogatory comments against Gã-Dangmes by leading members of the party.

The Chiefs of Gã-Dangme their people are saying they believe in the project called Ghana, which is being championed by the NDC, a party where all men are equal, a party where tribal, social and religious prejudice and discrimination have no place, a party where equal opportunities exist for everyone.

Let us not forget so soon Mr Osafo Marfo’s comments that only those who have natural resources in their lands (parts of Akan areas) have the right to rule Ghana. Let us not forget that Osafo Marfo’s nation-wrecking comment was secretly recorded, in a secret meeting. It was meant for the consumption of only NPP’s Akan supremacists.

Also importantly, let us not forget that NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, endorsed Osafo Marfo’s explosive comments. He said categorically on Starr FM that Mr Osafo Marfo was right in saying what he said and that as the leader of the NPP, he saw nothing wrong with the comment made by the leading member of his party. In fact, Nana Akufo-Addo stated categorically that Mr Osafo Marfo was stating an economic reality. What a way to justify the unthinkable! But that is Akufo-Addo, the apostle of division for you.

Is it not nauseating enough that the Akufo-Addo NPP leadership has adopted a posturing towards Gã-Dangmes as an ethnic group that seeks to make them feel inferior and insecure in their own land?

The Nungua Mantse did not stop with the expression of disgust at NPP’s disrespect towards Gã-Dangmes. When he touted the President’s virtues regarding the massive infrastructural projects being built by him in the Greater Accra region and other parts of the country, little did the Chief of Staff and his team know that he was setting the tone for similar endorsements of President Mahama by his colleagues across the region.

Chiefs of Nungua Traditional Council, Chiefs of La Traditional Council, Divisional Chiefs of Ga Rural Danfa, Chiefs of Ada Traditional Council, Chiefs of Ga West Municipality, Chiefs of Trobu and many others have all said when the Chief of Staff and his team met them at different meetings that Ga-Dangmes are solidly behind President Mahama and the NDC and charged Gã-Dangmes to turn out in their numbers to vote massively for President Mahama and the NDC for a resounding victory on December 7.

The message of the Gã-Dangme chiefs was simple: Gã-Dangmes will vote for the party and President who respect their dignity as a people. They have said that Gã-Dangmes will vote for the President who is building visionary projects and transforming Ghana including Gã-Dangme land- a President who is building projects for future generations. They have said that Gã-Dangmes will vote for President Mahama and the NDC because they desire peace, security and unity of our dear nation Ghana.

President Mahama therefore, is the real deal for Gã-Dangmes in this year’s elections.

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