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Opinions of Monday, 1 February 2010

Columnist: Assam, Balemwo

Developing the north: the concern of a northern patriot

Developing the north will bring relief to the people of upper east upper west and the northern regions by bridging the gap between the north and the south as a result, will curtail the incessant urban drift from these areas to the south. We will continue to accentuate the crises of hopelessness prevailing in this part of the country for remedial solutions.

I may be wrong but, I sincerely believe most governments that ruled the country had good intensions towards the aforementioned regions because; most of them have done something there with regard to infrastructure.

However it’s not enough to have the targeted impact to resolve the crises, because the area has been neglected for far too long. The results generated out of the neglect is the Kaya Yiee, our beautiful sisters thronging to the cities seeking menial jobs, school children learning under trees in this modern times and non-motorable paths we call roads.

Providing infrastructures in the north require consistent efforts by the government to make the area accessible to the world, this will put the people at work and turn the area into a viable engine of growth for the country. Move the children sitting under those trees into classrooms by building schools and furnished them with chairs and tables.

Turn those paths into roads not only to the cities but to the villages too. Make sure we have broad band high speed internet in the area. This will facilitate the creation of jobs in the area to alleviate the pain our people have endured for far too long.

Under normal circumstances, every citizen will be elated to envision progress in their country. But we have some people who just don’t want to hear anything about the north. Whenever we mention “development in the north”, some people start to run diarrhoea. Some develop hysteria with fits, for hearing; “development in the north”.

Some will bring out all the denigrating words they have kept inside their trunks and will crawl to their computers just to splash something negative, fuming with rage to use disparaging words to address the writer. They just don’t want to hear “development in the north”

Whenever we mention “development in the north” the automatic phrase that flows out of the lips of the detractors are; you have free education! If you want free education send your children to sit and study under those trees. From there, you’ll be the front advocators for our condign cause.

Whichever way you comprehend that privilege, I don’t think you adore Ghana more than our founding father Dr Kwame Nkrumah who promulgated that law neither do I think you adore the country more than the successive governments that sustained that law.

When we mention “development in the north”, even though some have no idea where the area’s located, they instantly become Harvard economic professors; they will start advising northerners how we should be innovative. For your information, we have 1st class cutting edge economist, development and management gurus from the north, not presumptuous ones. If you have ideas of innovation, use those ideas to get something done in your villages, talk is cheap!

When it comes to the north, we have some who says fighting has stalled development in those regions. We revere every life lost in those conflicts. We pray for cessation of hostilities in those areas however, fighting in the north is child’s play compared to what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet all the developed countries have resolved in their efforts, and are developing those areas at the peril of their lives amid barrage of gunfire, grenades and suicide bombers. Because they understand development is a vehicle to peace.

Hale people out of the rage of doing nothing with their lives, even trivial issues sometimes turn into skirmishes resulting into lost of life and property. Peacekeeping consume our resources more than development in those areas of conflict. Remuneration after peacekeeping is incomparable to that of infrastructural development, which will prevent conflicts.

Every Ghanaian is proud to see the level of development in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and other cities. It enhances the vision of future for tourism, demonstrates progress to entice business, and portrays good image of our country to the entire world.

But all we are also saying is development should go to the three regions in the north too. Is it a crime to ask the government to provide infrastructure in the northern part of Ghana? Infrastructure will make it possible for businesses to spring up in the north to enable our people stay there and work instead of thronging to the south chasing menial jobs.

We have some who see our forthright stance of portraying our grievances in the media as mortifying the country.. In our beautiful language Kasem, it’s said “If you refuse to disclose your ailment to the physician, requisite treatment will elude you” so, that’s exactly what we have resolved to do. Some people are so much concern about exhibiting false image than what our people have endured for all that long. They are not concerned about the unfortunate purgatory subsistence our people have endured all those years.

Northerners are not asking any individual to provide infrastructure for the north. We are asking the government to do what they were elected to do. We will do everything legally necessary until we pragmatically receive a sympathetic ear from the government.

Those who develop diarrhoea when they hear “development in the north” must get a lot of diapers close to them. Those with hysteria of fits when they hear, “development in the north” must get ambulances around their door steps to hurtle them to the hospital because; we are not going to stop repining anytime soon. Until the government gets us what will enable our people work in the north.

Reticence all those years did not help us; to some extend I believe some governments even thought we were complacent with the level of developments there. If not either our elected officials have not been factual to the governments about the crises prevailing in the north or the government is insensitive to the plight of our people. We are not going to keep mute anymore.

It’s time to lay bare the facts and to shout loud in every media house for attention and consideration to provide long overdue necessary infrastructure in the north, to open up the area. If you happen to be allergic to this legitimate northern development request from the government please, pluck your ears and close your eyes because the agitation will soon grow louder.

If somebody’s sitting somewhere dreaming, imagining, anticipating or postulating hiding behind computers to harass northerners to keep us quiet instead of engaging us to have intellectual discourse; understand we have passed through tribulations since time in memory that, puerile and sophomoric behaviour like name calling and insults mean nothing to us especially when it comes to our people.

Hope my dilatation on the subject of our grievances that necessitates action will enable you empathize with us to change your tone. If you see nothing wrong and satisfied that our people throng to the cities to do menial jobs, we’re not comfortable with that situation.

By nature northerners are proud taciturn people but if at this stage we have resolved to repine, it means taciturnity has kept us in perpetual excruciating situation. But if you will still run diarrhoea and develop fits because, of our legitimate humble request for “development in the north” then join us to knock doors at the seat of government; the Castle for attention.

As soon as we receive positive results pragmatically, it will curtail the nauseating sicknesses you develop hearing us, you will be able to keep those disparaging words in your trunks for better times to use them and will bring peace to you and your computers. So join us to seek for development for the three regions in the north.

Balemwo Assam Washington DC