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Opinions of Friday, 11 November 2016

Columnist: Oben, Nana

What is wrong with Akans, (especially Fantis) anyway?

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The late Atta Mills campaigned for, and won the Presidency riding on the theme “Adze pa wo fie a oye”, which translates “A good homegrown is always better”.

The Fantis heeded the call and massively voted Atta Mills and his NDC party into power (with the help of Voltarians and Northerners). According to a Fanti adage, “If you have a squirrel for a relative, you are NEVER in want for a nut”.

So it was a shock to find that Uncle Atta Mills had LOADED his government machinery – Cabinet posts, Corporate and Institutional heads, Boards, etc. with Voltarians and Northerners. Fantis, ABOUT 38% (or AKANS, about 68%) OF THE TOTAL POPULATION, occupied LESS THAN 1% OF THESE POSITIONS!!.

We all noticed how Rawlings, in his 19-year rule populated the top echelon of ALL our institutions with EWES, or how Kuffour in his 8 years did almost the same – about 60% Ashantis. John Mahama in his 2 YEARS as Vice President, and 6 years as President has surpassed Rawlings with his Northern and Ewe appointees.

Remember his campaign to the Northerners – “I am one of you, Vote for me, and you will enjoy the benefits of my presidency”? True to his word, almost every scandal of financial malfeasance during his tenure– Gyeeda, Sada, NSA, Police recruitment, etc. has led to a Northerner.

Almost ALL institutions in Central Region (Fantiland) including their schools are headed by either Northerners or Ewes. Can you EVER picture the reverse – a Fanti heading a school in the Volta or Northern regions?

It is therefore no surprise that the expected improvement of living standards for Fantis DID NOT HAPPEN!! In fact, it has deteriorated, and continues its downward slide almost to the bottom. We do not have any relatives up the fruit trees to throw down some to us

Do you remember the “Kenkey war” between presidential candidates Atta-Mills and Akufo-Addo; when the latter lamented that under Atta-Mills’ first term, the price of Fanti kenkey had doubled to Ghc 1.00; and Mills toured selected Kenkey sellers to point out it was still 50 pesewas? Unfortunately, the Fanti Kenkey manufacturers/ sellers immediately started loading their ball of kenkey with PLENTY LEAVES, just to deceive the buying FANTI public. From Cape Coast through Yamoransa (the Kenkey capital), Winneba Junction into Accra, the fanti kenkey, a staple food for mostly Fantis, swelled up with tons of leaves. One now has to peel away a mountain of leaves to get to a small morsel of the actual food. It’s a lie that the small meal has to be NOW cushioned with extra leaves to prevent spillage.

A headmaster of a Boarding school lamented that they had to stop offering Fanti kenkey because the actual meal left inside the wad of leaves was not enough for the student. And now the fonfom and epitsi manufacturers/sellers have also joined the bandwagon of deceiving their own Fanti buying public.

Our clergy and politicians have NOT pointed out how sinful and absurd it is for FANTI manufacturers/sellers of Fanti staples to deceive their own with mounds of LEAVES.

One wonders HOW and WHERE this practice started, AND right at the start of Mills’ term. Did our own Non-Schooled kenkey manufacturers dream of boosting sales with this deceit, or was it some hotshot marketing PhD who dreamed up this deceitful gimmick? The absurdity of this whole deceit in the name of extra sales and profit is that these manufacturers have to actually SOURCE AND PAY PLENTY FOR THE PADDING LEAVES, THEREBY MINIMIZING THE PROFITS.

Central Region has been rated as the second poorest region in the country. This is despite its enormous contribution to the nation’s GDP. Yet still, to listen to Madam Faustina Nelson or Mr. Allotey Jacobs or Chief Biney on radio DEFEND President Mahama’s NDC government, one would think either they are Northerners or Ewes; unless of course they have “benefited” from all the loot that has gone around since 2009. Mahama’s NDC government is rumoured to have borrowed US$27 BILLION supposedly for national developments.

Mr. Allotey Jacobs was once BOASTING on radio of the NDC government investing US$57 MILLION, (A MERE 0.21% (ZERO-POINT-TWO PERCENT) OF THE US$27 BILLION) in the Central Region. I am tempted to think Allotey missed the HUGE difference between a Million and a BILLION or 1000 Millions. Of course he was referring, as always, to the Kotokuraba market, the open grassed field labelled “Stadium”, the Komenda “sugar factory”, and a few asphalted VERY SHORT streets in Elmina and Cape Coast.

Just as it was during the Slave Trade 500 years ago, when the Fantis (in power) sold their own kith and kin to FOREIGNERS for beads and schnapps, so it continues today.

As long as our politicians, chiefs and people of power get their “crumbs” they cheerfully campaign for the OTHER tribe. It is a known fact that Fantis, unlike other tribes, are not known to “help” their own If we did NOT see VICE President Mahama’s intentions for the Akans/Fantis during President Atta Mills’ 2-year rule, PRESIDENT Mahama’s 6 years rule after Mills ought to have taught us a lesson of things to come.

Most Cabinet positions, and Institutional Heads are occupied by Northerners and Ewes in spite of their minority positions in the nation’s ethnic map. Ghana’s plight may not have been this dire if the COMPETENT ones among them had been selected instead of this Teams C and D”. We now know who is “CHOPPING” the nation’s wealth – again, Northerners and Ewes. Sadly, the bulk of Ghana’s wealth comes from the Akan and Ga belts.

March 6, 2016 marked Ghana’s 59 years of self-government. ONLY 19 (21 if Mills/Mahama’s 2 years are included) out of those 59 years have been under Akan civilian leadership. Ghana’s socio-economic development can be attributed to ONLY those 19/21 years under (Nkrumah, Busia, Kuffour and Mills). It is worth notice that the most inclusive (of all tribes) govt. of Dr. Nkrumah achieved the most of our development. The rest of the remaining years, (at least 40/38 years) have been wasted on useless slogans and tribalistic witch-hunting and LOOTING. Revenues for those years, mostly from the Akan and Ga belts, have been used for personal enrichment by cronies, families, ethnic brothers/sisters, and party supporters of the minority tribes.

The arrogance of Ayariga and Moses Asaga, Woyome, etc regarding respectively the AFCON budget and the NPA’s stand on fuel prices (after paying US$ 63,000 per month for rent), fraudulent judgement payments, speaks volumes of how entrenched these people feel in their positions and power. And why not? The majority Akans and Ga’s do not seem perturbed about our poor conditions; we gladly campaign to keep the Mahama’s, Ayariga’s, Asaga’s, Woyome’s, and their corrupt kinfolks in Gyeeda, Sada, Masloc, NHIA, NS, YES, etc. in power so that they can continue to lord over us, loot our coffers, and leave us impoverished.

Recently Cape Coast youths openly criticized the two fortunate Fanti Govt. appointees - The Vice President, and the 2nd Deputy Speaker for NOT DOING ENOUGH towards job opportunities in the Central Region. To counter that perception, President John Mahama’s govt, has now seen the need for ASPHALTING a few streets in Elmina and Cape Coast, to support their mantra “WE’VE SPENT ALL YOUR HEFTY TAX INCREASES, OIL MONEY AND BORROWED BILLIONS FOR INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS. SO VOTE FOR ME AND NDC.” He and his NDC are so sure the Fantis will once again fall for it, and vote for them. After all, in the last 2 elections the Fantis fell for buckets, bags of rice, match boxes stuffed with ONE FIFTY cedi note; and voted Mahama and NDC back into power. Our Fanti’s in the NDC hierarchy are getting their “crumbs” (compared to what the others are stashing away in offshore accounts, etc); and therefore don’t care that the Akan youths do not have jobs.

Mahama’s NDC know they need the Fanti votes, and believe by launching their campaign in Cape Coast, and distributing a few “wheasambos”, outboard motors and sewing machines, the Fantis will once again forget all their pain and suffering over the past 8 years, and vote for him.

Only a few Akans may have the opportunity to read this on web media. It is therefore up to Educated Fantis/Akans to enlighten our kith and kin NOT TO VOTE Mahama’s NDC govt. back into power; NOT EVEN with their cheap giveaways. WE MUST EDUCATE OUR AKAN BROTHERS/SISTERS, MOTHERS/FATHERS TO REMEMBER OUR DESTITUTION OVER THE PAST 8 YEARS, and THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR FEW SOCIAL INTERVENTIONS INHERITED BY MAHAMA’S NDC GOVT., AND VOTE THEM OUT.

(Part 2 follows)