President Mahama is reported to have said in Mampruli, “Ka bin dogi imini so nnye imabia” to wit, your biological brother might turn out not to be your real brother.
We are told he made this statement to the people of Mamprugu in his attempt to dissuade the people of the land from voting for the NPP. The land is also significant because it is the hometown of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the running mate of Nana Akufo-Addo.
In fact, the president is very prophetic in making this statement. Experiences have proven to us that very often, the people we call a family, the people we hold very dear to our hearts, the people we sacrifice a lot for, are the very people who let us down. They are the very people who would disappoint and betray us when we least expected. The case of president Mahama and the three Northern regions is a classical example.
President Mahama and the NDC have since 2008 been using the northern mantra to campaign and solicit for votes. They have made us to believe that the NPP has nothing good to offer for we Northerners and as such voting for the NPP would be of no use. The people of the three northern regions didn't ignore the president neither did they disappoint the NDC. In my home region, the upper West region for example, the NDC won all the Parliamentary seats. Not even one seat was left for the PNC which has its roots in the region. That's the level of trust the people have for our 'biological' brother, president Mahama. What did the people of the three northern regions get in return?
It's common knowledge that the main occupation of the people of the three Northern Regions is agriculture. The poverty in the three regions are also common knowledge and as such it was very refreshing, loving and helpful when the NPP (which was then led by someone who wasn't a northerner and as such not a brother) subsidised agricultural products during its tenure of office. Late president Mills (also not a northerner and as such not a brother) also continued that good policy. What then happened when president Mahama (a dear brother and a northerner) came into office? The subsidies on both agricultural products and fuel were taken away making the price of agricultural products extremely expensive for the poor farmers in the three northern regions. Painfully, when the president and his NDC government realised that 2016 is an election year, they reintroduced the subsidy. Even with the re-introduction, the poor farmers are asked to get coupons which are not also readily available. There are whole villages which not even a single member can boast of getting a coupon. The case of Challu in the upper West region is an example.
A farmer to explain this situation to me told me that during the NPP's era, he can sell a bag of maize and buy two bags of fertiliser. But currently under our loving brother, the president Mahama, he needs to sell at least two bags of maize to buy a single bag of fertiliser. A reward for having a northern brother as president!
With a dear brother as president, monies meant for the development of our agricultural sector has been lost through corrupt practices. The story of the guinea fowls which made the historic migration to Burkina Faso comes to mind. SADA has turned to a northern tragedy and a national disgrace.
Aside agriculture, our brother the president is fully aware that most of his siblings, the northerners, have no money to go to the universities and as such the teacher and nursing training colleges always come to our rescue. Even with that, the allowances given to the students of these institutions help in alleviating the sufferings the students undergo both in and out of their respective schools. What did the president, our dear brother do? He took away the allowances leaving the poor students to their pitiful plight. When Nana Addo and the NPP promise to restore the allowances for the students if they are voted for in this 2016 elections, the president in the very last year of his administration, realising elections are very close decided to make a quick and sudden u-turn. A decision not surprising because he has already indicated Ghanaians have short memories and perhaps we the northerners are those with the shortest memories. The president by this has shown that he cares more for votes he hopes to get than the development of the people of the Northern regions.
This little piece cannot enumerate the numerous heartbreaks, disappointments, betrayals and tearful stories of rip-off our dear brother and president has made us, northerners, to pass through.
It can only explain to Alhassan Suhuyini and other like-minded persons in the NDC that the people of the three northern regions are perhaps rising up from their slumber and can no longer be easily deceived by tribal and ethnocentric politics as it used to be done in the past. It has also made some of us to believe fully that giving our thumb to someone who isn't a northerner would perhaps serve us better. It's an advice the president has given to us northerners and it's an advice I hope to, Insha Allah, implement when voting for change come December 7, 2016.
I shall, Insha Allah, be back...
Source: Fuseini Abdul-Fatawu
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