Professor Kwame Karikari
Journalism and Communications expert, Professor Kwame Karikari says President John Dramani Mahama does not have to sit down and allow the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) that has been designed to bridge the development gap between the North and South, to fail.
‘President Mahama who certainly must consider himself a proud son of the North has a singular patriotic and historic responsibility to make SADA work. The NDC which claims to be the party for the masses, progressive, social democrats, will its government deliver on SADA or will it turn out to be another humiliating saga of ‘Ye be dii keke’?’
Prof. Karikari was speaking at the British Council Hall, Accra on Tuesday evening at the 10 th Kronti ne Akwamu Lecture under the theme: ‘The paradox of voice without accountability in Ghana.’
The annual Kronti ne Akwamu public lecture is one of CDD flagship programmes which feature distinguished scholars and practitioners around the world to share their experience on democracy – building and fostering good governance.
President John Mahama
Prof. Karikari who is the immediate past Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) lamented that since the inception of SADA, no good news has come out about the programme.
‘The name itself is gradually becoming synonymous with suspicions of graft, corruption and cynicism. It seems it has been conceived with goodwill but delivered stillborn.’
He said that interestingly, the idea behind SADA was one that has received consensus among all the political parties and it is rare in the history of Ghana.
‘If there is a development agenda that elicit consensus among all political parties and leaders then it is the idea behind SADA. Therefore it can be considered as a policy that enjoys public support.’
‘One would have thought that leaders from the North in this particular NDC administration would take advantage of the national consensus to promote more than anyone else the development of the North as envisaged in the establishment of the SADA.’
He said ‘there should not be demonstrations and petitions to show that it represents the voice of the North’s demand for the right to development.’
‘SADA is a national programme for all of Ghana. Its conception and actualization must be seen as such. Therefore, it is not in the interest of either the immediate beneficiaries (northerners) or the country as a whole to design its governing structures to give the impression that only Northerners can develop the North.’
He said ‘the development of the North is a patriotic task. It should be every Ghanaian’s concern to rescue SADA from failing,’ adding ‘it is the most enduring popular voice for the rights to development.’
He said ‘for political leaders, chiefs and other middle class Northerners, it is a test of their patriotism to ensure that the dreams of the patriots from the region who pioneered the idea is achieved.’
By William Yaw Owusu
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