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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Columnist: Al-hassan, Idris

RE: Why I’ve Been Branded Anti-

To: Joseph Ziem: Why you have been branded Anti…

Concerning the your article “Why I’ve Been Branded Anti-……… , which I consider, not a reply but a sequel to your previous article: "A Soldier As Tamale Mayor Will Help Restore Sanity”. When I read the first article, I knew another article was forthcoming. I guess your article was deliberately chosen and worded for a second article to follow. So the second article was just a sequel to the first one.
My take on this article is that it was kind of reckless, maybe bordering on hatred for whatever reason, you know best. You as a freelance journalist, is only trying to court controversy to get traction. You know as well as I do that people will react to an article of such wording, thereby giving you an opportunity to play a victimized freelance journalist to send another article half back paddling and half justifying your views. This way you get your name going on until you think of your next piece of crap. Like you, many Ghanaians have stayed in different places in Ghana. I personally have had the opportunity to have grown up in Upper Region which I consider a home. A place I will never forget especially Bawku and Navrongo. I have always mentioned only the good about these places and its people. I have a stint of stay in Wa and Accra as well. What I have learnt from my religion and my Dagbon tradition and upbringing is that I should be a butterfly not a fly. You played a fly - By fly, I just do not mean anything that flies but the detested house fly. I'll tell you the difference between the two. You probably do not know.
A house fly when it visits a beautiful area, even full of flowers, it does not feel at home. It will push out its feelers scanning for any amount of filth it can get. If ultimately it gets even a tiny bit of filth, then, there it settles. If even the area is as big as Tamale, and it gets filth as big as a tenth of the size the writers sleeping room, this is where it settles. It has no attraction to what is good and beautiful. It only gravitates towards filth.
The butterfly on the other hand, If it visits an area full of dirt and filth, it does not feel at home, so it will keep on searching until it gets, if even a very small flower growing there. No matter how large the area is, it looks for that tiny area and settles on the flower. Now after the fly settles on the filth and the butterfly settles on the flower you know what they do. They both try to start a process of propagation – you can call it pollination or if you like publishing. The butterfly directs all its efforts to make the good increase so that everybody sees and feels only good. The increase of the good, naturally removes the bad and in our case it is love and friendship among people replacing distrust and resentment. The housefly on the other hand, tries to spread the filth so that only the effects of the filth can be seen and felt - and you know the effects of filth – poverty, sickness, death and misery, in your case distrust, and resentment among people.
At the risk of inciting a debate, I dare say that as of now, and even many years back, Tamale has been about the best city for one to settle in spite of the Chieftaincy problems. Need I remind you that this is an institute that is bound to create problems everywhere in Ghana? Dagombas aside, we already know it among the Ga people of Accra, the Wala people of Wa, the Kusasi and the Maprusi of Bawku. Do you think it will not visit other tribes? Just keep your fingers crossed. Unless measures are put in place to kind of streamline the inheritance system, I tell you just wait and see, even for those tribes you think their chieftaincy institution is stable. I tell you, just wait and see. Tamale is one of the best cities regards to security the likelihood of being mugged at night is far lower than many cities in Ghana. In Tamale, relatively speaking, you can bring up your child to still have the element of morality that is now missing in many cities and towns in Ghana and even the world. Yes, Tamale has it black sheep but nonetheless it is still one of the best places to live and raise your kids. Talking about early marriage, I bet you I’ll prefer early marriage to teenage pregnancies and prostitution!. Well, you have your opinion. If you think the people of Tamale are violent people, or as some say Northerners are violent people, just let the supporters of NPP and NDC meet head on in Kumasi or Accra and let the security turn another side and see what will happen. Ghana will burn beyond recognition. By this, I am telling you that when people of opposing views meet EVERYWHERE amid high tensions, it is the role of the security to make sure there are no clashes. So blame the security for what is happening in Tamale or the North and not the people. I could go on and on about why Tamale is about the best place one can be. But need I? I am sure you are a witness to it yourself that is why you have not refused to stay there. My final word, please play a butterfly and not a fly.

i. al-hassan