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Opinions of Friday, 30 March 2012

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Suppression of Ashantis under the NDC Government

I feel sorrowful to witness the descent of Ghana into outrageous tribal barbarism. Ghana is heading down the dangerous slopes of tribal bigotry. I can confirm without fear or favour, or without mincing words, that the NDC are overtly alienating the Ashantis from the civil service. They are operating a secret positive-discrimination agenda against the Ashantis. The agenda gives preference to any jobseeker of a different tribal background other than Ashanti. There is also a seeming segregation at work places in Ghana, concluding from my recent experiences.

I am going to narrate two instances to buttress my contention after which I will take some Ashantis to the cleaners to deep clean their brains. When I proceeded home on Summer holiday last year, a former tenant in my late father's house visited me in Kumasi. She narrated to me how her daughter obtained a job at the hospital via the Youth Employment. She abandoned the job nine months later for non-payment of salary or wages. In effect, she never received a pesewa for the efforts expended working hard at the hospital though she was supposed to earn wages as per the contractual terms of the employment. According to her, if one went for a job interview, the interviewer will refuse him or her job if the person is an Ashanti, even though the person may be competent and the job still available for offer. It came about that a few responsible people in higher places in the civil service or the public sectors who are worried about the ongoing secret discrimination tipped off some Ashantis. Following the tip off, read how some lucky Ashantis can secure a job on lies. The lucky ones will have to deny their Ashanti ancestry or background during the interview. If you are lucky to speak Ewe, Ga, Dagomba etc, then you tell the interviewer you are from that tribal background. They will speak the language with you if anyone in the office understands it to prove that you are really, what you claim to be. Then you will have to tell why you do not bear that tribe's name. You tell them your parents are from that tribe but resident in say, Kumasi, where you were born and they named you after say, their landlord or landlady. Those Ashantis unable to speak any of the languages other than Twi and or English will also make the following claim. Their grandparents or parents migrated to the Ashanti region as either cocoa farm helpers, traders or whatever. They gave birth to him or her in Ashanti region and named him or her after their cocoa farm owner, landlord, etc. to justify why they cannot speak Ga, Ewe, and Dabgani etc. and why they bear Ashanti name. Unless you tell a white lie, an Ashanti, if not a die-hard NDC activist, will struggle under the President Mill's NDC administration to secure a public sector job. The said tenant's daughter with her little knowledge of Ga was able to convince the interviewer that she is a Ga. The tenant (name withheld) made me laugh when she said, "wo kaa ne nkran kasa foo basabasa bi a okeka no a enye papa biaa no" (she spoke her funny incomprehensible Ga that she often speaks) yet she was able to get the job. Simply put, her daughter has learnt some Ga phrases and sentences that she struggles with when speaking. My question is why the employer should ask the job applicant to prove his or her tribal background by way of name or knowledge of spoken language before he decides whether the applicant has been successful. From what I learnt, a job may readily be available but once they discover the applicant is an Ashanti, they will not give it to him or her. They will tell him, sorry, the job is gone already even though the post is still vacant.

I will not have written about this had I not recently been convinced about how disgustingly bad the situation has become. I will normally have allowed my fellow Ashantis to continue to obtain jobs by the white lies, forced upon them, or forced into their mouth, by the NDC administration but for a recent ridiculous occurrence. I phoned a lawyer friend of mine in Ghana on Friday, 23rd March 2012. He is a Company's in-house lawyer. About two minutes into the conversation, I could hear him ask a person in his office to excuse him. He then said, "we cannot continue with the conversation any further. The present government has sidelined the Ashantis and is closely monitoring us at work. I was only informing him about the civil suit Woyome through his lawyer David Annan has funnily instituted against me. Anyway, the legal suit to me is as irrelevant as the time spent on bringing it to the Ghanaian press.

From the above instances, what is the relevance of the few Ashantis in the NDC government? If the government of which they are proudly part can segregate against, or sideline their own tribesmen in this deplorable way, then they had better re-examine themselves. People like Kobby Acheampong and Agyenim Boateng are good at insulting but hollow in substance. They should be ashamed of themselves, question their own integrity and sincerity of service to Ghanaians. They are helping President Mills to relegate their own tribesmen to the fringes of future economic prosperity of Ghana. No wonder Former President J.J. Rawlings calls them greedy bastards. I will come back. Until then, I advise the few Ashantis who are aiding and abetting the President Mills' government to suppress their kind just for their parochial selfish interest, to think twice. Rawlings' NDC saw the beginning of Ewes dominating and suppressing the Ashantis. Mills' NDC has revived and continuing with the silent alienation and torture of the Ashantis.

What have the Ashantis, the majority tribe in Ghana done to merit this ill fate under the NDC administrations? I am yet to find out the reasons why. Rockson Adofo