Regional News of Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Source: Mathias Aboba

Youth of Bongo District Denies Backing Hon. Abongo

Youth of Bongo District Denies Backing Hon. Abongo for Upper East Regional Minster’s Post

The youth of Bongo District in the Upper East Region under an umbrella name Bongo District Youth Consensus for Development (YCD) has denied backing the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area Hon. Albert Abongo for the post of Regional Minister for the Upper East Region. The reaction by the group is in response to a publication in the media attributed to a youth group in the district purported to be backing the MP for the Regional Minsiter’s position.
The group said even though they have recently commented on issues bordering on politics and development in the district, the discussions and subsequent public communications did not involve lobbying for ministerial appointment for the MP. In a statement released and signed by its Chairman Emmanuel Adongo Ayire in Bolgatanga, the group stated: “we the Youth of Bongo District under the umbrella name, Bongo District Youth Consensus for Development, wishes to make it categorically clear that we are not in any way associated with the publication carried in sections of the media alleging that the youth of the district are backing Hon. Albert Abongo, MP for the area for appointment to the position of the Regional Minister for the Upper East Region.
The statement further noted that the group finds it absolutely necessary to clear itself of any association with the said publication because they believe the story has the tendency to confuse the public particularly the government with regards to a proposal the group recently made calling on His Excellency the President to consider appointing somebody from the Bongo District to the position of the Regional Minister. They said their plea to the President is premised on the fact that despite the district’s total support for the NDC party for over 20 years no person from the area has been appointed to that high office in the region before. The youth maintained that their proposal to the President which was contained in a press release issued on Tuesday January 1st, 2013, did not mention the name of any individual, and see no reason why the MP will like to take undue advantage over some other people from the district that have expressed similar interests and have duly informed and have received the strong support of the youth.
The statement went on to mention three personalities from the district; Dr. Avea Ephrai m Nsoh, Mr. Akamugri Donatus and Dr. Atinga Nba, as the only people whose expression of interest for the post of Regional Minister have come to their notice and have received their backing. The youth hinted that they have the assurance from these persons indicating that any of them who happens to get the node at the end of the day will be supported by the other two for the development of the region and the building of the party.
The group expressed shock at the publication and said the MP who won a convincing majority in the just ended general elections and going to serve his fourth consecutive term in parliament has enjoyed the fullest support of majority of the youth in the district. They therefore find it surprising why he nurtures such interest without making it popular in the constituency to solicit the views and support of the people but choose to use such an unidentified group to communicate his intentions.
The youth in their statement wondered if the supposed concerned youth group was not the cunning work of an individual outside the district who has an ill-motive and seeking to incite the MP against the people for reasons unknown. The group challenged the alleged youth group to come out publicly and let the people of Bongo know who they truly represent and what they are seeking to hide, noting: “if the so-call youth group really exists anywhere in the Bongo District or anywhere in the Upper East Region or any part of Ghana, we demand to know the individuals who constitute it, the leadership of the group and where they hold their discussion”?
The group advised the public particularly the government not to take a publication such as that which is attributed to a group whose members or leaders fails to take responsibility for their ideas by failing to submit their names or sign a petition they are making to no less a person but the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. They further affirmed their proposal to the President to appoint someone from the district to the position of the regional minister stressing that the president should prove to the people of Bongo district that he and the NDC party believes in equity, balance and fairness in the appointment of government functionaries particularly in the Upper East Region.
They group went on to appeal to the MP to come clear with his knowledge or otherwise of the publication linking him to the lobby for the position of the Regional Minister.
In conclusion the youth said they have nothing against the MP hence his aspiration for ministerial positions since he has all it takes to contribute to the government in any capacity, however, they, in principle, do not want to be used as vessels to carry out assignments they have not actually and effectively participated.
Below is the statement which was released by the Bongo District Youth Consensus for Development on Tuesday January 1st, 2013 in Bolgatanga.
Statement by Bongo District Youth Consensus for Development (BDYCD)
Since the return of Ghana to multi-party democracy some 20 years ago, the Bongo constituency has been and continues to be a major player in the country’s political landscape. The area has 94 polling stations and 38 electoral areas with 132 communities. The current population of district is about 84,545 which represents approximately 8.1 % of the region’s population.
Bongo District is undoubtedly one of the peaceful places in the Upper East Region. The district is blessed with diverse resources both human and material. The political history of the constituency indicates that the people of Bongo District are largely loyalists of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party. However there has been free space and level playing field for political competition by all political parties during political seasons. Thus every single major political contest in the constituency has always been keen. This notwithstanding, the constituency prouds herself as one of the few in the region with no history of bitter interparty political rivalry or violence of any sort
Youth participation politics:
There is overwhelming evidence that the youth of Bongo have over the years demonstrated good understanding of politics and governance and continue to demand bigger space, opportunity and more active role in politics and governance and all processes that connect with the development of our communities, the region and Ghana as a whole.
The youth demand:
We the young people of Bongo District wish to congratulate our colleagues everywhere in the country for the demonstrating true love for our dear nation, a nation whose future is on our shoulders, by choosing tolerance and peace and resisting all temptations of violence which ensured a free, fair and transparent general elections a few weeks ago. We also wish to congratulate the President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and the NDC party for the electoral victory. Similarly we congratulate all political parties and actors and indeed all Ghanaians for protecting our democracy through peaceful elections. It is prayer that Ghana will see better days in this New Year and time a head.
We however want to seize the opportunity to make a humble request to the President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama regarding the appointments to public office which he will be doing very soon as he prepare to roll out his government.
We wish to call on the president and the appointing authorities to continue to demonstrate confidence in the young people of this country by increasing the number of young people in his government as he continue the Better Ghana Agenda started by his predecessor; the Later President, Professor J.E.A Mills. We make this appeal with regards to all appointments in general and with specific regards to his appointment of representatives of the President at the district and regional levels particularly District Chief Executive for the Bongo District.
We the youth of Bongo believe this time the Bongo district needs a young, strong, progressive and visionary leader as the DCE to push the development agenda of the district and to adequately project the government of His Excellency.
The youth of further wants to appeal to the His Excellency, The President to consider appointing a person from the district to the position of the Regional Minister, for the Upper East Region. The youth makes this demand taking in to account the fact that the district like all others in the region has competent people who can perform creditably well when given that office and also considering that the ruling governing party has enjoyed the full support of the people of the district since 1992 but despite this unflinching support the party has never appointed a person from the district to that high office in the region.
We the youth make this request in the spirit of fairness, equity and balance in the distribution of political appointment for the unity and development of the area and political support for the party.
We the youth of Bongo District wish to assure the His Excellency the President and everybody in the NDC party that we are not by this request seeking to play down the critical factor of competence and other important factors that constitute the criteria for appointments of such nature but, we are seeking for fairness. Again we are not also seeking to sow seed of division; we are seeking to draw attention to a to a worrying gap we believe deserves to be closed. We urge the good people of the Upper East Region to see wisdom in our request and support our call for the right thing to be done.
We wish to stress that the youth have the backing of the Paramount Chief and Elders of the Bongo Traditional Area; Naba Aleemyarun Baba Salifu, who believes the call by the youth is justified and His Excellency the President has the opportunity to honor it.
The youth and people of Bongo are interested in the development and progress of our district, the region and the country as a whole. We are also interested in good and participatory governance and will demand for opportunities to do so at all time.
Mr. Ayire Emmanuel (Chairman): 0203906756
Mohammed Issaka (Organizing Secretary): 0203204519