Former President Excllency, Mr. John Dramani Mahama,
It is with mixed feelings that I write this open letter to you. This letter is provoked by your unprecedented step in keeping incommunicado in your 99 days of silence over your recent public tribal bigotry about the Akyems a major and very important tribe in Ghana’s political history (the big six, reminisced)
Your ex-excellency, under normal times, I will shudder to make my voice heard before you, given your position as an elder of the north. But, Mr. Mahama, these are not normal days so let me kindly request that you lend me your ears. I should have also sent this to you as a private communication through your de facto aide, Joyce Bawa Mugtar, but because I want it to generate a healthy public debate, I have decided to reach you via social media, Facebook, which you’re very active especially knowing and following your handle.
Let me start by letting you know that that the majority of the citizens in Ghana, who are mostly diverse in character are not happy about your recent tribal bigotry against the Akyems, even northerners in the diaspora including my good self for whom you’re qualify to be a father, I’m not happy with same comments.
Mr. Mahama, a forth night ago, you were cited in a social media comment that was shared on your social media handle (s) and its original content read as “Agyapa Royalties fraud is the last straw: The Akyem sakawa boys and grandpas must go,” this was the headline/byline of your infamous tribal bigotry comments, just two days ago, the Akyem youths including venerable chiefs in the Akyem traditional area came out in their numbers to demonstrate against these comments and to show their anger and disaffection towards same.
The great people of Akyem and the rest of the 31 million Ghanaians thinks that your blatant calling of Akyems as “Sakawa Boys” is only a tag to ridicule Akyems as criminals, fraudsters and untrustworthy, this action by the youth of Akyem only goes to indicate the gravity and sensitivity of your tribal bigotry.
For me , the issue is about the absence of leadership and responsibility on your part, Mr. Mahama as the flag bearer of the main opposition party in Ghana, one would expect that as a former states man you desist from comments of this nature that has the propensity of throwing the whole nation into chaos especially given the fact that we’re almost 6 inches to elections , many of us here living in the diaspora see this as reckless and irresponsible on your part and demand that you apologize to the good people of Akyem and Ghanaians as whole.
Ever since you made this reckless comment, you have been incommunicado on this issue until now because of its sensitive nature, but to be frank with you, Sir this action of yours does not cut the ice. At least a public act of apology through a media interview would have gone a long way to placate and ameliorate the frustrations and boiling passions of the people of Akyem and Ghanaians in general who justifiably expected so much from you.
Your public apology of your tribal bigotry would still have been in keeping with the parameters of the sensitivity of the matter. But alas! You chose to be silent, and your silence is read as an icy indifference to the plight of the great people of Akyem.
I’m sure, you have been advise by leading members of your party not to come out and apologize. Again, as you can see this is an error in judgment because your silence over the issue and the fact that a public apology is not rendered calls for the anger and angst of the people of Akyem to rise up to demonstrate against this, which for me is a good call in the right direction, because having a peaceful demonstration in the streets in Ghana is far better than rising up in arms against one another, this is commendable on the part of the Akyems in choosing a peaceful means to register their displeasure and anger.
Mr. Mahama, I would like to conclude here since you have lots of issues on your plate now to deal with especially now that we’re in an election mood, I would however suggest that, you own up to your one mistakes by apologizing either verbally through a traditional media or you go back to social media, same platform you authored these insensitive and highly divisive comments to write to apologize to the great people of Akyem and Ghanaians as a whole.
Before you go to bed at dusk tonight, kindly remember to pray to God and ask that he makes you a sign of tolerance and peace in Ghana, because you rode on a peaceful environment to become Vice President and subsequently president and now ex-president in perpetuity.
Luqman Abubakari, Master of Public Policy
University of Erfurt, Germany