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Opinions of Thursday, 27 October 2011

Columnist: Isang, Sylvester

Thank You President J.E Mills


We the Concerned Citizens of Nandom for the Development of the Nandom Traditional Area wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude to you, your Excellency Professor J.E Mills, President of the Republic of Ghana for naming our beloved town, Nandom among the 42 newly created districts in the country.

We woke up to hear the proclamation of this great news which would forever give us joy and a sense of relief. The people of Nandom have been denied a district for far too long despite the fact that the area was more qualified than others that were granted the status of district many years ago, given the criteria used for creating new districts. We would like to recall that Nandom happens to be located, until recently, within one of the oldest districts in Ghana, the Lawra District which was created in 1952. The struggle for an autonomous district for Nandom started as far back as the 1980s when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was to implement the John Kufour led committee recommendations on Local Government Reforms in the country in 1988.

The arguments posited by the citizens of Nandom at the time are still as valid today as they were then. In 1988 it was the general conviction that Nandom and Lambusie were to be given a joint district. Surprisingly it came out that when 65 new districts were created, Lambusie which is just a stone-throw from Nandom was rather lumped with Jirapa to create the Jirapa-Lambusie District out of the then Lawra district. This shocked many a citizen of Nandom. However, we never gave up the struggle since losing that rare opportunity in 1988.

Various groups such as the Nandom Youth and Development Association (NYDA), The Nandom Students Union, the Nandom Traditional Authorities led by the current Paramount Chief of Nandom Naa Dr. Puoure Puobebe Chiir Charles IV intensified our efforts through various means and at various platforms and fora in demanding our due share of a district. Come again in 2000, some 78 New MMDAs were created and surprisingly Nandom was again deprived of and denied a district status. Similarly, when some 28 new districts were created between 2003 and 2008, Nandom was still left out. This development made many citizens to almost feel that there was no hope of Nandom getting a district.

But the various pressure groups within and outside Nandom that have been agitating for a district never gave up the fight for we were convinced that once there is life there is always hope. This belief of us materialized when we woke up to hear the good news this time around that our beloved Nandom could not be bypassed this time round and had been listed among the 42 newly created districts by your Excellency President J.E Mills. This made many a citizen of Nandom to shed tears of joy in celebrating this historic development.

A district status for Nandom is all we have long awaited to ensure that our beloved area is fast developed. This is a status it deserves considering the rich human capital/ intellectuals that the area can boast of.
Whilst we thank you, your Excellency for giving us a district, we wish to categorically state that, we would like to caution all and sundry, especially our fellow Nandome not to try to make political capital or political pronouncement over the granting of a district status to Nandom. It is true that the current government has granted a request that we have longed for in decades. For us, however, it was a matter of time, as we had been unjustly denied this status since 1988.

Why are we thinking that Nandom duly qualifies for a district status and thus no Political Party or Politician should attempt to make political capital out of it? Even the Holy Bible says that “give unto Cesar what is Cesar’s and unto God what is God’s”. The president, who is renowned for his God fearing attribute has given to Nandom what it duly deserves and we the Concerned Citizens for the Development of Nandom are also by this press statement giving to you your Excellency the thanks that you duly deserve from us.

Our argument for non-politicization of our district status is as follows:
1. In terms of population, Nandom met the threshold considering the 2000 Population and Housing Censuses results.
2. Nandom for a long time has the physical infrastructure some of which include a full functioning hospital, two standard Senior High Schools, a police station, renowned vocational/technical institutes, a well patronized market, an agricultural centre, just to mention but a few. By dint of hard work, its natives set up a Rural Bank in 1981, one of the first of its kind in the country. They have also put up their own FM Radio Station to serve their people. These facilities put Nandom on a strong pedestal for rapid development if it had the administrative wherewithal vested in a district.
3. It boasts of a high quality human capital in all domains and the area is capable of fully staffing up all decentralized departments with its natives, were this to be the operational principle for staff deployment within the civil and public services.
4. Nandom has had a very long affiliation with communities of neighboring Burkina Faso. Its hospital and even FM Station are patronized by people from across the border. A district status now allows it to maximize the business opportunities while ensuring that the appropriate regulatory frameworks are in place to secure our national interests.

Ladies and gentlemen, most of these major factors, which are important criteria in the creation of new districts, have been in existence in Nandom since 1988 when the spade of creation of districts begun. Very little has changed since then.

It is for these reasons that we wish to categorically state that the granting of a district status to Nandom was not as a result of an accident of history or the benevolence of any person or group of persons.

The district status is long overdue has come based on merits and persistent and consistent agitation and lobbying from various groups of the area. Therefore any attempt by any individual or group of people to claim credit would be an insult to our long nursed injuries.
We believe that Nandome ( citizens of Nandom) want to be united at the birth of the new district just as we have always been so that we can together focus on making the best use of the opportunity we have long awaited to speed up our development. Therefore we don’t want any political tagging on what we have collectively fought for over the years.
Once again, we thank you President Atta Mills for being the midwife of this rather very long awaited delivery.

God bless Ghana
God bless our new District of Nandom
And God Bless us all.
Thank You.
President of the Concerned Citizens of Nandom for the Development of the Nandom Traditional Area