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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Columnist: Amenga-Etego, SaCut

NPP has taken Northern Ghanaians for granted!

I hesitated very much before writing this article because I wondered if it will change a thing. And then, I thought, it would be thought provoking. Why have I come to this conclusion? First, the NPP has two categories of members; those they consider true party men and women, and then, those who would fit strategically into their plan to win election even if they were communist in ideology and in conflict with their Property owning capitalism. It should not surprise anybody that the NPP could name Dr. Chambers as a possible running mate to Akuffo Addo. I know that if Comrade Pratt chooses the Malik Baako way--abandoning principles for fortune—they would put him on their ticket.

Specifically with the Northern Moslems-I have my problem. I don’t know what is wrong with them! If only people of Ghana could differentiate between Moslems and Northerners-, I would rest my case even before I begin it. But alas! Many an `enlightened` Ghanaians see the two—northerners and Moslems—as one. Am a traditional northerner. Members of my family are either traditionalists or Christians. Others have become Rastafarians. And yet some have engaged in spookism-- an intense and emotional appreciation for unseen forces to whom we turn our destiny and our daily lives and hope something doesn’t happen we can’t handle. Trust me; in the part of the north where I come from, we don’t have Moslem neighbors. In deed, Moslems are strangers in town.

Why do I worry about the attitude of the NPP towards Northern Moslems? First, it is because many Northern Moslems easily throw their principles to the dogs when they see opportunity. This may be attributable to the foreign ancestry of Moslems in Ghana-many of them settlers in Northern Ghana. Don’t get me wrong. Christianity is also very foreign but here is the difference=The Christians indoctrinated the local people, and used Christianity to underwrite their scheme to exploit/or appropriate. On the other hand, the Muslems settled and practiced. They integrated and became part of us. Of course, it is easier for Arabs to integrate with Ghanaians than Europeans by virtue of the relativity of our origins.

To get straight to the point is what am trying to do now. I will start from the year 2000 and the `use` of Aliu Mahama by the NPP as a running mate to Candidate John Agyekum Kufour. It is on record that many `party men` opposed him and indeed, hated his guts but had to succumb for strategic reasons-to get Northern votes. They knew he was as incompetent as the candidate himself but they needed the votes from Muslems and from Northerners. They succeeded but trust me, it was not because of a Northern running mate. It was-and I say this without apology-because the People who worked with Rawlings and took over from him could not fit into his BIG SHOES. In other words, they slacked and the `WIND OF CHANGE` pushed these commoners—NPP—into office. We all know that President Rawlings could run for president the umpteenth time and win. Some other people would want us to believe that Northerners voted for the NPP because Aliu was on their ticket. Let’s even assume- without admitting- that indeed, Aliu brought in some Northern Votes. Could that not have been with the hope that HE would in 2008 be made leader of the NPP? And if that hope brought in votes from Northern Ghana, such votes should certainly be lost by now.

That brings me to this Bawumia guy. He too is Northern Moslem just like his clansman Aliu. He must be the NPP tactic to douse the fire that is blazing away the Northern Votes. A guy whose father Mumuni Bawumia worked with Rawlings as head of council of state. His entire family is rooted and grounded in the people-centered traditions but now all that has been thrown to the dogs for an opportunity to be vice president which is the highest office the Northern Muslim can attain on the ticket of the ethnocentric property grabbing NPP. Every elephant-babies and giants-are throwing their legs in the wind in protest against the choice of Dr. Bawumia as running mate to Akuffo Addo even though this guy appears more intelligent and creative than the Flag bearer’s drowsy self. Never mind the open endorsement by the BIG Elephants like Odoi Sykes who said that his only reason for endorsing this Northern Moslem is because he is the only guy `we can use` right now to win the elections. And the loud mouth Kennedy Agyapong who `threatened` not to campaign for Akuffo Addict if he went ahead to nominate an `outsider` like Bawumia as his running mate was cowed into submission and made to stand shamefully before the secondi rally holding hands with Bawumia to make a definite statement. Did you miss that?? You need to pay attention to every detail of the NPP strategy if you want to understand their mode of operation. How about in eight years from now. What would you do with him?? Anybody can guess but there ain`t going to be any eight years-I can see. Kennedy Agyapong would regain his voice in January 2001 and he would say `I TOLD YOU SO`. In my books, these are all cosmetic endorsements without a doubt. It is quiet puzzling how these NPP guys perceive the Northern voter. I can easily guess that Akufo Addo and the NPP see the Northern voter as `manipulatable` underdogs who would settle for crumbs. And so they could even take an over-qualified northerner and make him play second fiddle and expecting the Northern votes to stream inn.

The NPP may have studied the genetic make up of the `manipulative Northern Muslim` and are a willing to use them for as long as they oblige. But this is where there is a loop hole. The Northern Moslem may be manipulative. The Northern Muslim may opt for crumbs like Aliu and Bawumia. For if Dr. Bawumia of the bank of Ghana was a traditional northerner, he definitely would’ve learnt from hindsight. Unfortunately, he has towed the line and he is `grateful and humbled` that the NPP has chosen to `use` him. My big question is can the northern Muslim bring a win to the NPP?? I double doubt that. Only the general northern vote—traditional, Christian, and Muslims—can bring a win. And I can say here again without apology that the traditional and Christian Northerner is too ashamed of the `manipulative Northern` Muslim for generally usurping the traditional Northerner whiles exhibiting his own weak traits to the rest of Ghana and the world! Traditional North must this year demonstrate a positive defiance to this seemingly low premium placed on them by the NPP CLAN by rejecting them root and branch.

This is the General!

Amenga-Etego SaCut (Traditional Northerner and Progressive Youth Leader) rassacut@yahoo.com