Mon, 15 Apr 2024 Letter

An Open Letter to Northern Ghanaians

By Dr. Shani Mohammed
An Open Letter to Northern Ghanaians

Dear Fellow Northerners,
As we stand on the brink of a momentous occasion in Ghanaian history, it fills me with immense pride and joy to witness the unfolding of events that will shape the destiny of our beloved nation. For the first time in our nation's democratic journey, two esteemed sons of the north, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and John Dramani Mahama, stand poised to compete for the highest office in the land. This unprecedented occurrence not only marks a milestone in our political landscape but also presents a unique opportunity for us, the people of the north, to shape the future of the north and our beloved country.

The emergence of Dr. Bawumia and Mr. Mahama as presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) respectively indicate a significant achievement for the people of the north. This unprecedented scenario is not merely a political spectacle; it is a testament to the depth of talent, capability, and leadership that exists within the north. Regardless of our individual affiliations or preferences, we must recognize the significance of this moment and the unique opportunities it presents for us as northerners.

Central to our discourse is the importance of ensuring peace and stability throughout the electoral process. Notwithstanding our party affiliations, we must unite in our commitment to upholding the sanctity of democracy and rejecting violence. As brothers and sisters, united by our shared identity as northerners and Ghanaians, let us come together as one people, transcending party lines, to celebrate this historic achievement and safeguard the peace that is the bedrock of our nation, irrespective of which candidate emerges victorious.

Moreover, the outcome of the elections presents us with a unique opportunity to advocate for policies that address the unique challenges facing the north. Let us harness the power of our collective voice to advocate for our regions development and prosperity. The next president must prioritize initiatives that promote economic growth, infrastructure development, and social welfare in our communities.

One transformative proposal that warrants our attention is the relocation of the capital or seat of government from Accra to Tamale. This strategic move has the potential to alleviate the burden on Accra while catalyzing economic development in the north. Drawing inspiration from successful precedents in other countries, such as Brazil and Nigeria, Ghana can emulate models of decentralization to promote equitable growth across the country.

Furthermore, agriculture stands as a cornerstone of our economic revitalization. With limited mineral resources, investing in agriculture presents a pathway to sustainable development and prosperity. By prioritizing agricultural innovation, infrastructure investment, and youth engagement, the next president can position the north as the agricultural hub of Ghana, fostering job creation and economic empowerment for generations to come.

Addressing the educational disparities that hinder the advancement of northern youth is equally vital. Access to government scholarships must be equitable, ensuring that deserving students from the north have equal opportunities for higher education. By rectifying this inequity, the next president can unlock the full potential of northern talent and contribute to the north's human capital development.

Moreover, the north's full economic potential remains largely untapped, with the majority of our youth facing unemployment and poverty. The next president, who will hail from the north, must prioritize infrastructure development to attract local and foreign investors, thereby creating job opportunities and fostering economic growth.

In the realm of tourism, the north boasts a wealth of cultural and natural attractions that have the potential to boost economic activity. Sites such as the Mole National Park, Laribanga Mosque, Mognori Eco-Village, Salaga Slave Market, Nalerigu Slave Defence Wall, and Paga Crocodile Pond must be promoted by the Ghana Tourist Board to attract foreign tourists and stimulate economic growth in our communities.

In closing, let us recognize the significance of this moment and the opportunities it presents for us to shape the future of the north and the country we love so dearly. Regardless of the electoral outcome, let us unite behind the cause of northern development, holding our leaders accountable to their promises and aspirations for a brighter future.

With hope and determination,
Dr. Shani Mohammed
Atlanta GA, USA.