AH! I said it in the first part of this epistle. I knew after reading the piece, some people will most probably make up their minds to launch vicious attacks, well rehearsed verbal assaults on me.
Even before I decided to write the part two of the piece, I have had not less than eleven text messages, calling me a “tribalist”, “a stoker of furnace”, a “diversionist”, “stupid” and “a trouble shooter (as if I am a Yahoo without dot com)”.
I am not perturbed a bit because I have enough shock absorbers to contain the insults. I consider all these insults as mere irritations of nuisance value. In fact I do not care much for these rubble rousers, riff-raffs, nit-wits and half-wits. My problem is that I do not suffer fools too gladly. I am rather concerned about how the rest of the citizens of this country view this particular article. The good people of this country matter more to me than these scatterbrains.
So, as I wrote last week in this column, because of poverty and sheer want, majority of the people from the three northern regions have migrated down south to seek greener pastures. They can be found on the streets of Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tema, Koforidua and other big towns in this country working as truck pushers, 'kayayees' and hewers of wood. They are easily visible in rural areas in the southern part of this country where they work as farm laborers or cocoa farm caretakers. At East Legon and other elitists' residence, you can see them working as house helps, garden boys, day and night watchmen and messengers. One common thing about them is that, they also possess voter ID cards and do vote during any election in this country.
If you see a huge mansion at East Legon with architectural wonder and think that it is occupied by so many people, you would be making a big mistake. There is the likelihood that apart from the garden boy, the night and day watchmen, the messenger and the house help, who may be northerners, the other occupants are the husband and the wife. Their children may be away studying overseas and rarely come home. So you see, when it is time for us to go to the polls, there are five northerners ready to vote in that house. As compared to the owners of that house, the number of northerners ready to vote is more than the owners of the house.
The Brong Ahafo Region is supposed to be occupied by the Brongs but the truth is that northerners and Ewes constitute about sixty percent of the population. Along the banks of the Volta Lake which runs through the region down to Buipe, Ewe fishermen dominate the area. When you go inland, northern tenant farmers are more than the Brong farmers. Because the land is fertile for the cultivation of maize, millet and yam, Gonjas, Konkommas, Dagombas, Dagatis and other northerners outnumber the indigenous Brongs. These northerners engage in farming on rented lands or work on the farms of the indigenous Brongs as farm labourers. At Yeji in the Brong Ahafo Region for example, a Dagomba has won the parliamentary seat on two occasions. Even though Ejura Sekyeredomase is supposed to be in the Ashanti Region, a Konkoma, Hon, Mohamed Pangabu has won the seat for the NDC on two occasions. It is all because the area is dominated by northerners. The situation is not different from the other Akan areas in the country. The worst situation is that the northerners who shun family planning and practice polygamy have so many children than the local people.
And yet these people are not encouraged to take up positions in the NPP at the ward, constituency and regional levels. The NPP only go to the northern “enclaves” when elections are getting nearer. That is a big mistake. You see, the typical northerner is not money conscious. All what the northerner wants is recognition. Making the northerner feel a sense of belonging alone is enough to win him or her to your side. Ask the ex-servicemen who went to fight in the Congo and they will tell you how committed the northern soldier was the moment you gave him some sort of recognition.
Promote him or his brother from corporal to sergeant and see how he will fight at the war front. There was this old ex-service man in my holy village who saw battle in Congo and who we used to call “Baba Bugaam”. As children, we would sit around him in the evenings and he would narrate to us what happened at Congo when he went to fight there. One day, he told us that “anytime you hear “Tatatatata”, then ibi Asanti or a Kwawu man wey idey fire and running away to safety. But anytime you hear “Bugaam, “Bugaam, bugaam”, then ibi Kangyaga, Dagomba, Kusasi, Hausa or Mosi sergeant wey idey fire enemy front”.
Rawlings saw these qualities in the northerners and decided to brainwash them so that he could use them during elections.
The time has come for the NPP to revise their notes as far as the issue of the zongos and northerners for that matter is concerned. If the party wants to come back to power in 2012, this particular poison must be diluted. It is going to be an onerous task but worth pursuing.
(Next week: “The menace of “Kufour nipa”, “Nana nipa” and “Alan nipa” and a compromising candidate from the North). Don't throw a blow yet. Cover your bare knuckles until you read part three next week!!!
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."