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Opinions of Saturday, 20 February 2010

Columnist: Atugiya, David

The flames of the Northern cause must be kept burning

The people of the North and the minority tribes in Ghana must fight their corner and fight it hard. Northerners and the minority tribes should make no mistake that the “mafias”; and movers and shakers of the majority tribe see Ghana as belonging to them and will want the country to be rule by their tribe’s men and women. It is sad and unfortunate that Ghana that prides its self as a beacon of hope and opportunities for all will have people who matter and should know better in society, hold such poisonous and entrenched views of “they verse us.” History and conventional wisdom suggests or teaches us that this sort of attitude is a recipe for disaster. Undeniably, the majority in society the world over always want to have their way over the minority through their brute suppression of the minority. They will call them derogating names; enslave them, but will never want them near power and or influence; and that is the sad reality for northerners and other minority tribes in Ghana today.

Recent events or comments by editors of news papers, groups calling themselves all sorts of names, individuals who are symbols or leaders of kingdoms; and others parading themselves as commentators in the Ghanaian body politics; should serve as clarion call for northerners and other minority tribes to intensify their fight against discrimination and marginalisation. The vast majority of the dominant tribe in Ghana are decent honourable people and hate any actions that are seen or perceived as discrimination and marginalisation of northerners and or other minority tribes. But the ruling class or click of the majority tribe who wield financial power and influence; and also hold sway to their tribes’ men and women think and act differently.

Since 1979 when some northerners and other minority tribes burst into the political scene in Ghana and has now become part of the ruling elite, there has been an orchestrated black clash against minority tribes particularly northerners and Ewes. Some people from the north and other minority tribes have shamelessly been attacked at epic proportions at every opportunity by the agents of the ruling class or “mafias” of the majority tribe in some of the media houses who conspire and provide the platform for misinformation to the good people of Ghana in their quest to destroy the hard earned reputation of individuals from the north and other minority tribes.

Take the case of the attacks and vilification of people like Alban Bagbin, Moses Asaga, Cletus Avoka, Mahama Ayariga, Muhammad Mumuni, Mohammed Mubarak Mutaka, Albert Abongo, Bomba, Boniface Abubakar Saddique, Azong Alhassan, Ambrose Derry, the northern boys in the AFRC and PNDC era, the Isikatas, (the list is endless), for the past 30 years in some of the Ghanaian media mostly own by the ruling class “mafias” of the majority tribe. The attacks on these noble citizens from the north and other minorities as cited in the context of this piece is not the case of exposing wrong doing, but a ploy deliberately designed to disrupt and destabilise the steady progress of the northern or minority cause.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga the former presidential spokesperson for President Mills was right in his reaction to his vindication of no case to answer by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to have questioned the motives of some people who according to him, moved from radio station to radio station trying to malign him. In an unmeritorious and mischief petition to CHRAJ against him; by the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) and others; alleging he inappropriately abused his office and bought tractors that he was not entitled to. As a true and passionate northerner, with no apologies to anyone for that matter, agree with Mahama Ayariga; when he emphatically accused the PNF and others of their veil or desperate attempts of trying to subvert a process of progress in the North. It is an open secret that the powers that be from the ruling class of the majority tribe despise northerners and other minority tribes and cannot stomach or come to terms with the fact that in today’s Ghana northerners and other minority tribes have occupied and continue to occupy cabinet posts and other prominent positions in government and in the country.

President Mills and former President Rawlings have been accused of nepotism and tribalism simply because according to their accusers they have or had put so many northerners and Ewes in their respective governments. What a cheek. No one from the ruling class of majority tribe saw anything wrong or questioned former President Kufour when he packed his cabinet and government machinery for the entire eight years of his presidency with his brothers, cushions, in-laws, and mostly people from the Ashanti tribe. As the old adage goes “what is good for the gander is good for the goose”

Equally, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr. PhD., should be applauded and rightly so, (even though I do not sometimes subscribe to his writings and antics as an Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing) for exposing the disgraceful and gutter journalism of the Ghanaian Chronicle on its editorial captioned “GH¢ 200,000 A Month For Northern Conflict” (See 2/01/10). Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr. in his article “Talking Down to the North” (see 12/02/10 and 15/02/10) pointed his finger at the looming problem or the hash reality that the likes of the editors of Ghanaian Chronicle including the ruling class “mafias” of the majority tribe face; when he said “------what the Chronicle editors appear to be desperately, albeit pathetically ineffectually, attempting to put their fingers on is the exceptionally high price that all Ghanaians stand to pay if the central government continues to ignore the crucial economic and socio-cultural development of the North, by pretending almost as if northern Ghana were merely another region somewhere underneath our Earth or up above the clouds “so high,” as the old nursery rhyme intimates.”

Ghana belongs to every Ghanaian irrespective of ones tribe, position or influence and therefore the minority tribes, northerners in particular, should not shy away or be intimidated from standing up against any individuals or institutions; who are hell burn to put out the burning flames of the northern cause in order to continue to perpetuate their discrimination and marginalisation of the north.

The lesson therefore that the ruling class “mafias” of the majority tribe should learn and learn very fast, is that, when an oppressed people are awakened they recapture their self-confidence and no matter how mighty or powerful the enemy, it will be defeated.

David Atugiya Secretary, BONABOTO-UK

PS. The views expressed in this article are that of the author and does not in any way represent the views of BONABOTO-UK