A group in the Northern region has criticised President Akufo-Addo for what they say is his reference to ‘Northerners’ in his reaction to the ‘Akyem Sakawa boys’ labelling involving former President John Dramani Mahama.
According to the group, “As much as we acknowledge the context in which the President tried to situate his comment, we suspect his generalization to encompass all Northerners has underpinning sentiments. It is in this respect we disagree with the President and call on him to explain his bitterness against Northerners or Gonjas”.
The controversy was sparked after Mr. Mahama shared an article by Bolga Central MP Isaac Adongo in which the labelling was used in his commentary on the Agyapa royalties deal.
Below are details of the statement by the group
We have become aware of dangerous ethnocentric comments made by President Akufo -Addo during a meeting with the Catholic Bishop’s 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.”
As much as we acknowledge the context in which the President tried to situate his comment, we suspect his generalization to encompass all Northerners has underpinning sentiments. It is in this respect 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 towards Northerners, it is not very likely he will uphold this pledge.
Again we are wondering if it is the same President who 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!