A group calling itself Coalition of Northern Youth Groups is demanding an unqualified apology from the aspiring Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West constituency, Ursula Owusu for making comments they claim portrays them as “second class citizens”.
Madam Owusu on Okay FM, an Accra-based radio station on Thursday November 29 was reported to have said she was troubled by the fact that some northern stalwarts are opposed to the opposition New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) free SHS policy, and according to the group she “branded all northerners cattle rearers”.
Addressing a news conference in Accra Monday, convener of the group, Hussein Mubarrack intimated that in an attempt to justify the NPP’s "dubious and vote driven free SHS" remarked that “but for free education the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) stalwarts like Inusah Fuseini will be rearing cattle because that is what uneducated northerners do”.
The Coalition of Northern Youth Groups is therefore calling on the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo to ask Ursula Owusu to retract the “tribal insult” and apologize to people from the three northern regions.
They are also demanding the National Executives Committee of the NPP to suspend Ursula Owusu as a member of the party and withdraw her candidature as aspiring MP for Ablekuma West.
Below is the full statement from the group
Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP must apologize for insulting Northerners!
A vitriolic female politician and a Senior Aide to the opposition New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ursula Owusu has heaped the most pathetic of insults to date on all Ghanaians of northern extraction, by branding them as mere cattle rearers.
Ms. Ursula Owusu who is also contesting as Parliamentary Candidate for the Ablekuma West Constituency made these derogatory comments of Thursday November 29, 2012 edition of Accra-based Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ morning programme. In an attempt to justify the NPP’s dubious and votes driven ‘free-SHS’ promise, she remarked: “But for free education, [NDC] stalwarts like lawyer Inusah Fuseini will be rearing cattle because that is what uneducated northerners do.”
As northerners, we feel extremely scandalized and violated by this tribally laced invectives aimed solely at using falsehood to create the impression that people from the three northern regions of Ghana are inferior to Ghanaians of other tribes.
It is an attack on His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, the National Chief Imam, Dr Mamudu Bawumia, the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, all the eminent northern chiefs, etc.
We wish to make it unequivocally clear that all Northerners with little or no education are not by default, cattle rearers, as the NPP would like the world to believe.
There are prominent northerners in this country who are senior politicians, prominent chiefs, religious leaders, businessmen, creative artists, successful farmers, exporters, importers, sports men/women, with or without any education whatsoever.
We wish to add that our siblings, who have chosen the noble profession of farming, especially animal farming, continue to make us proud as a country. Their decision to dedicate their lives to feeding the nation is virtuous and ought to be respected by any sensible Ghanaian.
We wish to admit, albeit sadly, that for reasons of historic injustice, which traces its roots to our colonial legacy, the northern parts of Ghana have not been developed as much as other parts of the country. This is a national tragedy which should trouble all true patriotic Ghanaians.
It is therefore reckless and the height of irresponsibility for anybody, not to talk about a political organization such as the NPP and its leaders to use this historic injustice to indict northerners. What did the NPP do to reverse this trend during all their years in government?
We would have treated this repulsive comment with the contempt it deserves, or perhaps as the barbaric effusions of a desperate politician starring at defeat, if not for what appears to be a purposeful attempt by the NPP leaders to treat persons who are not Akyems or Ashantis as second class citizens.
The NPP chose Aliu Mahama as its Vice Presidential Candidate in 2000 solely to attract Northern votes. After using Aliu to procure Northern votes, he was treated with scorn until his untimely death.
Until his death, Alhaji Aliu Mahama remained the only incumbent Vice President who was not supported by his political party to become president simply because he was neither an Akyem nor Ashanti.
Whether Nana Akufo-Addo visited Aliu Mahama on his sick bed or not is a subject of intense public debate. But what is clear is that until his actual untimely death, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, special aide to Nana Akufo-Addo had announced his death three days earlier. Did he know something the rest of Ghana did not know? We expect Nana Akufo-Addo and Gabby Asare Otchere Darko to be confessing to Ghanaians by now.
The gruesome murder of the Yaana Yakubu Andani and Alhaji Issah Mobila will continue to hunt the NPP forever.
Unfortunately, the tribal crusade by the NPP and its Akyem and Ashanti assigns to divide the nation has not only been targeted at Northerners.
In the recent past, Mr. Akufo-Addo erroneously referred to the NPP as an Akan party and challenged them to fight the other tribes for him to be president. After all, “all die be die”.
In addition, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong a financier of the NPP and NPP MP for Assin North called on Ashanti's in his party to kill all Ewes and Gas. We have also observed with great depression the National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey calling on Akans to rise and fight like their compatriots in Ivory Coast to protect their destiny (political power).
Hon Isaac Esiama, NPP MP for Atwima Nwabeagya referred to all Northerners as charcoal manufacturers. That was before Kennedy Agyapong referred to all Northerners as watchmen and useless people.
In a recent documentary titled an African Election, we were shocked to the bones to hear a former Spokesperson for Former President John Kufour, Kwabena Agyapong saying that there are no human beings in Hohoe.
In a rent recording, Anthony Karbo, the immediate past National Youth Organizer and a parliamentary candidate of Lawra is heard saying the NPP party people should deal with certain “Ayigbey” brigadiers in the military.
All this statements are deliberately meant by the NPP to falsely create the impression that some Ghanaians are second class citizens to the Akans.
We are calling on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the NPP flagbearer, to as a matter of urgency apologise unconditionally to all northerners. We also call on Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately ask Ursula Owusu to unconditionally retract this despicable tribal insult on the Northerners, and apologize individually to all Ghanaians from the three northern regions.
We also call on the National Executive Committee of the NPP to immediately suspend Madam Ursula Owusu as a member of the party, and unconditionally withdraw her candidature from the Ablekuma West Constituency elections.
We want to make it unequivocally clear that in the absence of the above apologies and actions, we will advise all northerners and actively work to ensure that the NPP never becomes a government in this country.