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Neglect of Northern Ghana Exposed


2012-07-24 08:09:24
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I should be heading this contribution the Failure of the Northern Elite but chose to follow your lead, as it addressed the issue. This failure is comparable to the failure of the Volta Region elite too, as the regions vies with the 3 northern regions in indicators of underdevt. People from the North are now among the richest in Ghana and we have been reading about their wealth and exploits. Yes, Mahama's brother has just made it as the first to own a private jet in Ghana!

I was shocked to read in a foreign magazine in 1995 that the VR was the region having the lowest mid-wives per population! And all those trained nurses from the VR? They preferred to be posted to other regions, no doubt, but someone was clearly skewing the postings! In the same magazine, I read how teachers and other staff, largely from the VR, were keeping govt services afloat in the North! And this is a region which suffered from pre-colonial exploitation and plunder for slaves, ivory, etc. and colonial tapping for cheap labour, just as the northern regions. Before the Kayaye, there was the "Ayigbe, adeka gbo, ma te le!" Any Internal Reparations for the VR too? No! We are left to pull up ourselves by our own efforts. We have often been told that Kufuor tried better for us in 8 years than Rawlings 19+ yrs in office, so I needn't dwell on our sorry lot as to date. We have ourselves to blame! So the educated northern elite must also blame themselves first! Got my own cry to cry! After all, they are buying jet planes and I don't even own a bike at the moment!

Anyway, the floodlight must be cast on the educated people from the northern regions, as they must share a big burden of the blame for the continuing backwardness of their regions. Like the elite of the south, they have no empathy whatsoever for the less privileged and have no plans nor agenda to lift them up too. All they think of is themselves, with a lot of the usual lip service - the confidence mechanism of we care for you - parroted profusely during elections years, just to retain the support of the people. This cuts across all parties, left and right.

The ONLY party that seriously tried to do something about the development of the North was the CPP under Nkrumah. It started with the free education policy in 1952, and later extended to the whole country. When the NLC and the Busia regime abrogated the free and compulsory education in Ghana, the free education was still retained for the North, despite Busia proclaiming that is people go to school,they don't want to farm again! They were lucky the UP elements did not win power in the 1950s, or else, northern Ghana would have been like some parts of the Horn of Africa, with some people not ashamed to go about stark naked, or only little pieces of clothing to cover their private parts, just like the Lobis!

The question to ask is, why are the educated Northerners not ensuring that every child gets education and there is no illiteracy in the 3 northern regions by now? Some will say the parents couldn't afford uniforms for their wards! So they are so damn poor? What's happened to growing yams, so expensive in Accra and a great expert commodity? One tuber of yam can be cut up into many pieces, nursed into seedlings and planted to create a big yam farm, you know? Anybody introducing that agric technology even Ghanaian Agric teachers only discovered upon migrating to teach in Nigeria in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a technology already widespread in Nigeria? The CPP had a well developed plan to turn the north into a major, modern agric area. All this were abandoned with the 1966 coup, together with the 100s of newly imported tractors (not snow plows, btw) which one official "discovered" in 1967 lying fallow in the bush at one spot, over 500 of them!

The north of Ghana has a special interest for me personally, not only because a spent my early years there in the late 50s, when my father's firm worn the contract to liquidate the settlement scheme at Damango. Moreso because my paternal great grandfather died die in voluntary exile, having settled, made a local hononory chief over his settlement (the "korpe" he founded) and reportedly married to over 32 sturdy northern women! Bloody, lucky dude!:-) I therefore have a legion of relations from the Daboya area, some of whom I met as a kid in Anloga. That's why I am ready to share ideas to improve our sorry lot with my relations from the North. And I think I've some interesting ideas to share.


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07-23 03:02
07-24 08:09