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Opinions of Monday, 4 September 2017

Columnist: Abdul Latif Alhassan

Former deputy agric minister’s saga; let us reserve some bombs for our own.

Just like any other Northerner, I was wild and angrier when I read the news that the former Deputy Agric Minister called Northerners “liars and difficult people”. My anger was a normal human situational trait because it is only a fool who laughs when his father is insulted.

Calling Northerners liars and difficult people were the last words an alien could use to describe us upon living with us for 27 years. Is actually a secret that most southerners posted to north to work never wanted to come and never wanted to go back even when the need comes.

This is simply because Northern Ghana is a place where life is cheap and simplest to live. For any stranger who has ever stepped a foot in Northern Ghana will testify that North feels like home.

To back up this, there is one humorous statement that Northerners like strangers more than their own, and is a fact because we actually pamper strangers. Unlike the Southern sector where a stranger who wants to pass night needs a guest house or hotel, a stranger in the North can simple ask of any community leader’s house, pass a night there and then the next day he baths and eats free of any charges.

Unlike the Southern sectors where everyone is busy with work and has no time for strangers, a northerner will leave his work and send a stranger or gives a stranger directions to where ever he going. I think such hospitality alone is not traits of difficult people.

It will be very difficult for a difficult person to entertain a stranger for even a day, let alone 27 years. My honorable, my author of Kov’s Series, an S.H.S Chemistry text book which helped us a lot during our S.H.S days you got it all wrong, in the sense that, in every society, there are always liars and difficult people but not to generalize to all the people. I think Northerners are only assertive; we do not want to be cheated.

When you attempt to look down upon a Northerner or trample upon his right, “karesu”! I bet you, it will not be easy, you will have no option then to call him a difficult person because, hell will come and he will not understand and that is a mark of assertiveness.

Now to the realm, after listening to the audio recording of the former Agric Deputy minister, I think we should reserve some of our bombs for our own. I think we should take a second look at the insults and blame directed to him, our own northern MPs and our own northern officials in government have to share the blame.

By now I know you are all ears and eyes to know why, and to know why, just obtain the audio tape recording and listen to it.

Take away any tribal or political sentiments and listen to the tape recording as a neutral Ghanaian. Listen to the part he said ".....we have two of our ministers being Northerners, and they have large farms or big farms of maize no records on that"

Is our honourable using the two ministers’ farms as a yard stick to measure the army warm invasion? Who told him those two Ministers farms are safe? Logically, without prior discussion or information from those two ministers, there is no way he could have known that their farms are safe; hence no records to prove the existence of the fall army warm. The elders say if your neighbour's wife insults your lanky hips, is your own wife who thought her the insult.

If your armpit is malodorous you do not open for everybody to know you have a stenchy armpit. It seems the former Agric minister's comment has drawn the attention of our northern MPs and government officials to the existence of the fall army warms calamity in the North, otherwise most of them never knew a calamity of that sort befell us.

Innocent farmers from the north started wailing about the army warms since the start of the season, no MP or government official from the north ever murmured anything formerly concerning the army warms. What prevented any of our 31 northern MPs to formally raise the issue of the army warm invasion in the north as an issue to consider in parliament? What prevented any government official to officially write to the Agric ministry about the fall army warm invasion in the north? What prevented our MPs from granting interviews to radio and TV stations about the fall army warm? What prevented our northern MPs and our own government officials from going on the social media to drawn government attention to the army warm invasion in the north?

If our northern MPs and government officials cared about North and Northerners as they portrayed when we were insulted, they would have contacted Agric officers to do thorough investigation, collect evidence base data about the army warm and they will then submit to government for an appropriate intervention base on the data.

When all these was done, how dare someone to claim there was no proof of the existence of the fall army warm. A similitude of this Deputy Agric Minister fall army warm saga is that of many tenants in a room and then fire guts the room and properties got burnt. The chief tenants who are closer to the land lord are quiet, say nothing about the tragedy because either their properties are fire-proof and not got burnt or they have no properties in the room. The ordinary tenants always complain and tell the land lord how the fire has destroyed their properties, the land lord got fed-up and tells them that the chief tenants also have properties in the room but theirs are safe, and how come the rest are complaining about the destruction, so any tenant who complains has to prove the fire really burnt his properties, therefore those in the room, including the chief tenants are “liars and difficult people”.

Please no tribal or political sentiments attached, tell me who is to be blamed? Blame only the land lord for making such a reckless comment? Blame the chief tenants for not taking up the responsibility to report the tragedy to the land lord despite their properties being safe?

I always maintain that most people in our country like politicising and tribalising issues and mostly fail to take a neutral look at issues.

If our Northern Mps and government official wanted to proactively prevent such unfortunate comments from the former Deputy Agric Minister, they would have done that without any difficulties, rather than waited for him to speak his mind and they then started to write and grant media interviews attacking him all over.

Of course my poor father who is a peasant farmer at the village cannot have access to the ministry of Agriculture to file a complaint, but that was why he queued in the sun and rain to choose a member of parliament to represent and speak on his behalf. Why could our Members of Parliament not extend our complaints to the ministry of Agriculture. We chose you to speak on our behalf when we are either not there to speak or cannot speak and we expected you to do such in the case of the fall army warm.

Our Northern MPs and government officials are the forces that need to fight on our behalf not only when we are insulted but, they need to proactively avoid creating room for us to be insulted and vilified. Our MPs and government officials need to always make news headlines in championing northern development. They do not only have to make news headlines in reaction to people speaking their minds about Northerners.

Next time a calamity of that sort befalls north; our own people at the helm of affairs need to provide advance data proofs and evidence before anyone asks us about them.

Ghana at heart, North at heart, Savelugu\Nantong Municipality at heart, Nantong constituency at heart, Tampiong Zoonaayili at heart.