Feature Article of Thursday, 11 April 2013
Columnist: Awudulai, Issahaque
It is important for me to start by stating in clear and unambiguous terms that, John Mahama as the constitutionally elected President of Ghana has a clear and conscious vision at making our dear Nation GHANA a better place worth of living in by all and sundry. This vision of the President is not and would never be subjected to any inconsequential and trivial considerations such as ethnicity. As such, I find it most strange and absurd for Justice Sarpong and his likes to perpetually subject the President of the Republic to all manner of unfounded and baseless accusations. Can we blame them to the core for such needless actions anyway? No, because they are desperately in search of undeserved political office to enable them as usual polarize and disintegrate our beloved GHANA on grounds of ethnicity and deep-rooted political partisanship whilst enriching them in the process.
It is worth-noting that a special intervention towards the development of specific jurisdictions of Ghana is nothing new in the history of this country. It is obvious therefore that, efforts towards bringing the Savannah belt (especially the three regions of the North) at par with the rest of the country did not just start with the Mills/Mahama and Mahama/Amissah-Arthur administration. Research upon research has revealed the urgent need for a special programme aimed at fast-tracking the pace of development in that part of the country to offer hope and livelihood to the people. As a typical Northerner, am not immune to the level of suffering and deprivation that most Northerners go through to earn the barest form of livelihood. It is not for sight-seeing that you find a lot of Northerners in southern Ghana engaged in Kayaye, petty household laundering, or as farm hands. It is all in an attempt to earn a living.
SADA as an intervention therefore brings hope and some assured livelihood to the people and as such we would not sit down and allow saboteurs like Justice Sarpong to create any form disaffection in the minds and hearts of gullible northerners as far as the GUINEA FOWL and TREE PLANTING PROJECTS are concerned. These two projects are well-thought out projects intended to benefit the masses of the people in Northern Ghana and beyond. However, as normal with any new project, there could be variations and challenges as far as the implementation of the project is concerned. In as far as we agree that there are some rough edges in the implementation of the projects, I disagree vehemently with the approach Justice Sarpong is adopting in criticizing or critiquing the project.
His Excellency John Mahama as a true son of Northern Ghana knows too well what poverty means to his people. He is equally aware of the expectations of him to deliver a truly Better Ghana for all Ghanaians and for sure the President is on course. For people like Justice Sarpong, to posit that the President is corrupt amidst all the efforts that the President has made to give through meaning to a transparent government keeps minds boggling. Is it not amazing that right from the STX Housing deal, the purchase of Military aircraft, the Amajaro Cocoa scandal, the Hope City project and now the Asongtaba Guinea fowl project, the detractors of the President have not been able to prove for once their allegations of perceived corruption against the president? When are they going to get tired of disgracing themselves all the time just in an attempt to dent the image and reputation of this humble and god-given man? Are they planning of subjecting him to the same humiliations that they subjected Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah to? Anyway, we are living in different times and John Mahama must be left alone to execute the mandate and will of the majority of Ghanaians.
In Justice Sarpong’s article, he mischievously translated “ASONGTABA” to mean “you scratch my back I scratch your back”. Gracious god, this is the level of mediocrity and double standards in Ghana today. “Asongtaba” is a frafra phrase which means “to help each other”. This phrase translates into the same meaning for all the inter-related languages in Northern Ghana. So for Justice Sarpong to deliberately distort the truth in the meaning of this phrase in order to give a semblance of a certain level of connivance as regards this entity only goes to undermine the integrity of the Asongtaba Group. Justice Sarpong ought to bear in mind that the Asongtaba Group is engaged in so many activities which go beyond the recent engagement with SADA. As such, it would be very dishonest and naïve to want to discredit Asongtaba just because of the Guinea fowl and Tree Planting projects. Asongtaba is just one of the subsidiary companies under the AGAAMS GROUP OF COMPANIES run by Mr Roland Agambire, one of the renowned businessmen in Ghana today. In fact, Roland Agambire has shown over time how indigenous business can compete effectively and efficiently on all fronts and that is an inspiration and a motivation to the average Ghanaian businessman. Rather than unduly criticize and try to run him down, it is more appropriate to support and encourage him so as to grow his business which offers employment to scores of Ghanaians.
Why does Sarpong think that it was wrong to have the Asongtaba Cottage Industries implement the Guinea Fowl Project? Does he care to know that SADA as an institution has officers and officials with clear terms of reference concerning their jobs? As such, the decision to have the Asongtaba Cottage Industries to implement the Guinea Fowl Project was consciously and decisively made by the relevant authorities. Moreover, Asongtaba Cottage Industries had to meet some criteria and standards before being allowed to enter into that venture with SADA. It is equally important to state expressly that ASONGTABA was already engaged in such venture as a sole entity with records to prove. It was therefore not out of place when they were deemed qualified and competent to implement the joint venture.
Justice Sarpong must equally learn to state his case without having to belittle or look down upon some group of people. Why did he find it opportune to attack Northerners referring to us as people who blindly follow anybody from the North even when that person is not for our interest? Is justice Sarpong saying that the many intellectuals from the north who have contributed in no uncertain terms to the development and progress of Ghana are not worthy of any recognition? What about the average Northerner who had to work on cocoa farms and goldmines just to contribute to nation-building? Certainly, Sarpong’s assertion that John Mahama is the worst thing that could ever happen to the North is most unfortunate and only matters to the long-standing saboteurs of mother Ghana who have always remained enemies of progress. Indeed, the worst thing that could ever happen to Northern Ghana was that infamous decision by S.D Dombo and his Colleagues in the Northern People’s Party to align themselves with elements from the Danquah-Busia fraternity to form the UP. A decision that kept the UP Tradition alive. That singular decision is still making the UP Tradition relevant especially in the Northern Ghana that Justice Sarpong and his likes continue to belittle and denigrate. The office of President of Ghana is not the exclusive preserve of any group of people and once anybody meets the requirements of that office, he or she is entitled to seek the office within the confines of the law. As such, nobody with ill-intent or motive can continue to vilify and ridicule the president and his kinsmen alike for no justifiable reason. The president is not above criticism but certainly such criticism must have been based on a solid ground of evidence not those engaged in by Justice Sarpong and his cohorts who appear never to find anything good about John Mahama as President of the Republic of Ghana. Anyway, unless proven otherwise John Mahama would function and operate as the legitimately elected President of Ghana for a four –year tenure working tirelessly and diligently to deliver a truly BETTER GHANA!
BY: ISSAHAQUE AWUDULAI
0207452759- WA, UWR.