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Opinions of Monday, 16 March 2009

Columnist: Nuhu, Albert

Worse Enemies of Northerners in Ghana

Northern (Tudu) Politicians, Parliamentarians & Cabinet Ministers: They are the worse Enemies of Northerners in Ghana!!!

If you think that this is a provocative title, wait till you read the whole piece. I am sure many of you remember my article about Gonjaland people being excluded from the Mills Cabinet. I read all the comments and I understand where every one is coming from, even though I beg to disagree with most of your views. However, I want to encourage the “battle of ideas” and I want all to know that I applaud and appreciate your efforts in joining the conversation and offer your opinions to strengthen our democracy in Ghana.

This time I am taking up another controversial issue many people have ignored for a long time.. You see, as we say Ghana, unfortunately, one thing I really expected the Ghanaian commentators on my article to tell me and the rest of the Northern Regions' peoples, was how the Northern Regions' Politicians squandered their political capital and several opportunities in the past, and are likely to follow the same pattern this time around. No one dared to touch the topic. But, I will say this, just as Eric Holder told Americans a few days ago: you Ghanaians are all “cowards” when it comes to telling the Northern Politicians the truth; yes the truth about how “they have miserably failed the Northern Regions”.

Yes, the plight and misery of Northern Region, the exploitation of northern regions' Labor for the development of railways, cocoa farms, roads in Southern Ghana, mines in Southern Ghana, etc, without any compensations for the peoples of the Northern Regions is a direct result of of the stupidity, ignorance, selfishness, and greed of the present day Northern Regions' Politicians. Even Kwame Nkrumah recognized these injustices and allocated Northern peoples a share of the national pie; in terms of education and opportunities, such as the GET schools, one of which John Mahama and many in Mills cabinet benefited from. I am therefore, calling on all Ghanaians to join me and say to these present day Northern Politicians,: “shame on you, you betrayed and engulfed your people's in even deeper subterfuge”.

This is what it means to be bold, honest and ready to face reality!!! It's about time we learned the true meaning of criticism and self criticism, and folks, I will elaborate..

Folks, during the political campaign activities in Ghana, Akuffo Addo boldly went to Bole and asked the people of Bole to show him one single development project John Mahama proposed for or fought for, in the name of the people of Bole, for all his years in the JJ Cabinet. . Akuffo Addo said that John Mahama was in the JJ regime for all it's duration, and a prominent cabinet member indeed. In fact, John Mahama, as the Minister of Communications or Information in the JJ regime, was the spokesman for the JJ regime.

You see, the unfortunate thing was that, not a single Gonjaland person could answer Akuffo Addo's question directly. In fact, all Gonjaland was silent and could not point to one single project which had John Mahama's name on it, for the people of Bole or even Gonjaland.. Instead of examining the truism in this statement, Gonjaland “woke up in arms” and turned their venom, empty venom and non potent venom indeed, on Akuffo Addo and launched unprecedented attacks on Akuffo Adoo for stating a matter of fact! .

We all know better, and in fact, we all know that Akuffo Addo was not only striking at John Mahama, but he was directly speaking to Northern Regions' Politicians in general. What have Northern Regions' Politicians done for the North, apart from Building Mansions in Kumasi and Accra?

Who in Ghana and/or Northern Ghana can answer this question for posterity?

Now, read, below, an email exchange between a concerned Northern intellectual in the US and me. For those people who are not from Northern Ghana, TUDU means or refers to Northern Ghana, as you will note in this conversation an throughout this piece:

He writes to me:

“I have a better picture of the Tudu factor in the NDC govt. Dee, our boys are in the Mills government in a big way. Interior, Foreign Affairs, Works & Housing, Communications, Sports, Justice (by marriage to a Tudu guy), and of course, Vice-President. There ought to be a way for these guys to map out strategies for the development of the North.”

I responded as follows:

“Yes Mallam, the Tudu guys had as much or even more in the JJ regime and Tudu came out with nothing. I don't know where they have their heads. I guess it will be worse this time, because what I sense is that this is the time again for a selected few Tudu guys to make money and make sure they keep power for the next many years.”

Then he responds:

“Dee: You are right. Where the heads of these Tudu politicians are is a very interesting question. Many of them became rich when both the NDC and NPP were in power. The first time around, when the P/NDC was in power, Tudu guys held considerable sway in Ghana politics. What did they do? Amassing wealth and building mansions in Accra and Kumasi. The NPP came in and the same pattern of behavior by our Tudu guys was repeated in Kuffour's eight years. Wealth and mansions in Accra and Kumasi. In the meanwhile, the three Northern regions were neglected in terms of meaningful development except for a new govt. building here and there. No industry to generate employment for the Northern regions. When I was home recently, I made it a point to impress on some of these guys about these issues. But they will only nod and that was it. They are more concerned about material acquisitions, houses, cars, fat bank accounts and so on. They will often use lines about the "plight of the North" as a weapon to get a few govt. programs pushed in their direction. Then they turn round and steal the monies allocated for the implementation of these programs. Looks like we are doomed. There has to be a way for our people to build and put pressure on these Tudu guys to do something concrete this time for the three Northern regions. We need the location of major industry in these regions to employ youth and other skilled professionals. Otherwise all our people do is travel and settle in the South where they get caught in vicious unemployment cycle. Many do not ever return home because they can't even afford the transport fare. If they stayed home and worked, at least, they could with their incomes demand services and other products that will in turn stimulate economic activity in the North.”... Folks, is this a truism or not? You see, JJ Rawlings was the first President of the Republic to give almost 40% of his Cabinet appointments to Northerners. Kuffour did not even have one Cabinet appointment from Upper West or East.

As if it matters!! Folks, if Kuffour had given 90% of his cabinet appointments to Northerners, it would have changed NOTHING!!! Those Northern appointees would still have argued vehemently for improvements in Kumasi Kajetia, improvements in Accra trotro stations, fly overs in Accra, renovations of the Ashantihene's Palaces, a road from Kuffours house to Kuffour's mother's grave, a street and a school in Konongo and Brekum and Assin Foso, and so on and so forth; but not one thing for their poor villages and cottages in the North.

Folks, and I mean Northern Folks, yes TUDU people, wake up and demand action and accountability from your politicians and elected MPs. Let them show us what they have done for the Northern Regions “Lately”. Let them tell us what is in their agenda for the Northern Regions. Ask John Mahama and all the Northern Representatives in Parliament and the Cabinet to tell us in plain language about the programs they are fighting to bring to Northern Regions. Do not wait another minute; ask them now!!!

Let this time or political era be different from both Kuffour and JJ Regimes. Folks, it's not Kuffour this time or JJ in the past, it's our own Northern Region Politicians!! Instead of signing off on Bonuses for the Kuffour Regime officials, let's demand action to improve the lot of Northern Regions. Instead of building mansions in Kumasi and Accra let's demand that they build some of those mansions in the Northern Regions.

But, why are they building houses in Kumasi and Accra instead of in their own constituencies in the North? Why are they signing off bonuses for Kuffour and his gang instead of looking for projects that will benefit Nandom and other places in their constituencies? Why are the Northern Politicians speaking and fighting for projects to other parts of Ghana instead of their own constituencies? These questions apply to all the Tudu Politicians.

The answer is simple: Tudu (and I mean Northern) Politicians are still mentally castigated and dominated by the old “house boy”, “latrine carrier”, “servant” “cocoa farm laborer” “gold mine worker/laborer”, “houseboy”, “cook”. “garden boy” and complete domestic slavery mentally that was perpetuated and imposed upon the Northern Regions by the Colonial Masters, reinforced by tribalism, and enriched by our preset day empty and unworthy Northern Politicians.

This is a call to all Northerners in Ghana and abroad, and to all Ghanaians in Ghana and abroad, to call on Northern Politicians to talk for their people, do for their people and seek developments for their people. The Assin Foso MP is not going to talk for the people of Nalerigu or Bawku or Bole or Tumu. It is the responsibility of the Tamale, Bawku, Nalerigu, Wa and Kusawgu MPs to talk and seek industries, and meaningful economic revival projects and and incentives for their peoples in those parts of Northern Ghana; Daaaaahhh!!!

If they don't know that, join me in calling upon them to uproot their houses in Kumasi and Accra and transplant them Bole, Damongo, Bolga, Tamale, Nalerigu, Waliwali, Wa, Nandom, Tumu etc. Yes, call on the Northern Politicians to wake up from their long slumber and realize that they were elected by their people to seek the interest of their Northern peoples; and not Kumasi and Accra; Kumasi and Accra will be ok with or without you Northern Politicians.

Change has come to Ghana, and this the change we can believe in; wake up those buffoons to their responsibilities.

Albert Nuhu