Two groups in northern Ghana have issued separate statements demanding clarity from President Nana Akufo-Addo regarding his recent comment that: ‘If I was to get up to make a comment about Northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in this country’.
President Nana Akufo-Addo made the statement while urging the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, with whom he met on Friday, 4 September 2020, to condemn former President John Mahama vis-à-vis the reference to his [the President’s] ethnic group as ‘Akyem Sakawa people’ by opposition lawmaker Isaac Adongo in a statement which was amplified by the flagbearer of the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), on his Facebook timeline.
But the Concerned Northern Youth and the Northern Youth for Peace (NYfP), in separate statements say the President must explain himself and also render an apology to the people of northern Ghana.
Read the two statements below:
PRESS STATEMENT BY CONCERNED NORTHERN YOUTH AGAINST PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S ETHNOCENTRIC COMMENTS AGAINST NORTHERNERS AND GONJAS IN PARTICULAR.
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
Ladies and gentlemen of the Media,
We have become aware of dangerous ethnocentric comments made by President Akufo- Addo during a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference last Friday at the Jubilee House.
For the avoidance of doubt, we quote the comment below for reference:
“If I was to get up to make a comment about Northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in this country.”
Inasmuch as we acknowledge the context in which the President tried to situate his comment, we suspect his generalisation to encompass all Northerners has underpinning sentiments.
It is, in this respect, that we disagree with the President and call on him to explain his bitterness against Northerners or Gonjas.
We are at pains to understand why ‘our father’ will let out such thoughts as if he is squabbling with us.
We want to know what President Akufo-Addo has against Northerners that if he says it, it will cause an uproar.
We just want to know whatever negative it is, we assure the public that we will not call for an uproar.
One lesson we learned from a past President, our own Prof. Atta Mills, is that when one is elected President, he becomes a father for all; not for a few or his tribe alone.
It is, perhaps, on this notion that the presidential oath that the President swore upon taking office entails a pledge to dedicate himself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana and to do right to all manner of persons.
With the visible anger of the President toward Northerners, it is not very likely he will uphold this pledge.
Again, we are wondering if it is the same President who, a few days ago, admonished the entire populace to shun politicians who promote tribal politics.
There are many other tribes in Ghana but the choice of the Northerners which comprise many tribes is intriguing.
We feel it is a subtle attack on the Northern part of the country by a southern president who feels aligned to the south more than the North.
This is a clear division of the unitary state entrusted in the hands of the President.
This attitude lends credence to the perception of tribal politics by the very person who admonishes against it.
It is nothing but hypocrisy at best.
We, therefore, strongly condemn the President’s insinuations and urge him to render an unqualified apology to Northerners at large.
Democracy does not mean only a few are liked and recognized in plural societies!
For Immediate Release
6th September, 2020
PRESIDENT NANA ADDO MUST SAY THE NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT NORTHERNERS HE IS HOLDING BACK—NYfP DEMANDS
The Northern Youth for Peace (NYfP) has been following the political discussions as Ghana gears toward the 2020 general elections, and has taken note of some distasteful commentaries associated to some political leaders in the country.
As a youth group for peace and development from the Northern part of Ghana, we abhor commentaries that have the tendency to cause this nation to further divide.
That was why we condemned the ethnocentric comments made by Hon Ursula Owusu who said that “they have taken their country back and won’t allow anybody to rule over them again”.
We intimated that Ghana belongs to all us and so no Ghanaian is more Ghanaian than the other.
Unfortunately, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with the Catholic Bishops Conference, called on them and other civil society groups to condemn Former President Mahama for sharing a post authored by Isaac Adongo which the President thinks is distasteful.
On the same platform, President Akufo-Addo said: “If I was to get up to make comments about northerners or Gonjas, you can imagine the uproar that will be in the country”.
This single statement is pregnant with lots of questions which this group want the president to clarify.
What is it that is in the mind of President Akufo-Addo about Northerners that he thinks that when he should say it, there will be uproar? Are northerners and Gonjas that dirty so that when the President says what he knows about us, there will be uproar?
By this statement, we the Northern Youth for Peace are calling on President Akufo-Addo to speak and we will assure him there won’t be any uproar.
After all, whether or not he speaks what he is holding back, we still feel insulted and suspicious of the President.
The president must speak and clarify this issue or we shall roughly demand so from him.
Abdulai G. Hameed