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07.03.2013 Feature Article

Re: The Dangerous Use Of Religion And Ethnicity

His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama
LISTEN MAR 7, 2013
His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama

Our great nation Ghana since 1992 has experienced democratic transition and we have chalked up with democratic credentials as compared to other West African countries. In Ghana and other countries, there is the general perception that ethnic and religion undercurrent play a vital role in our election process.

Former president J. J. Rawlings, my mentor in Ghana politics undermine the politics of ethnicity and religion by ensuring that all Ghanaians were engages in government office as citizens of Ghana regardless of their religious and ethnical background. Unfortunately, his predecessors have not follows his wise decision to ensure ethnical and religion diverse government.

It is argued that, though voting along ethnic and religious lines does occur, ethnicity is one of a host variable including economic conditions, campaign message, perceptions of corruption that influence voter alignment in Ghana.

When the current NDC government retain power headed by H.E John Dramani Mahama, upper west region was engulf with the dilemma of who to appoint as the upper west region minister, it came as a topic of rumour and debate among members of the party, due to the past changes of upper west regional minister base on the “side” they belong to.

But it came as a surprise when the president us his powers to appoint Hon. Bede Ziedeng as the regional minister for Upper West Region, despite the long list of potential aspirant for the position.

In this 21st century every election and government, globally is influence by religion and ethnic which one belongs to.

I charge my brother Awudulai Issahaque to render unqualified apology to past upper west regional ministers for saying “this trend lead to appointment of incompetent, unqualified and unsuitable candidate to the detriment of otherwise qualified and competent contenders who could help lift our society unto an appreciable pedestal”.

He who fight and run away must be able to come tomorrow and fight, I charge my brother Awudulai Issahaque again to mention those; incompetent, unqualified and unsuitable candidate he is talking about.

As an up-coming politician my brother might be, he should be aware that many consideration that goes into the appointment of prospective regional minister and deputy regional minister, as my brother is well aware, these consideration include but not limited to competence and capacity as well as commitment and royalty to the party.

Indeed all the perspective candidates who are lobbying for this deputy ministerial position has track records which has outweigh the track records of his candidate (Hon. Abu K. Kansangabata) as the deputy upper west regional minister.

I again charge my brother to tell us the names of those youth, where, how and when they were much enthused about the possible appointment of Hon. Abu K. Kansangbata as the deputy upper west regional minister, Hon. Abu K. Kansangbata as a colleague young vibrant leading member of our great party (NDC) who I respect very much has done his best as the district chief executive (DCE) for the Nadowli district and if he believe in himself for his performance and contribution to the party and the people still recognised his performance and contribution, maybe he should get tremendous endorsement for another re-appointment as DCE for newly created Daffiama-Busie-Issa constituency, the constituency he belongs to.

There are a lot of qualified young, active men and women with rich experience who has the skills and competence to work with president Mahama to achieved the better Ghana agenda from Wa the capital of upper west region. Wa a town blessed with abundance of human resource has a ready youth who can fill the office of the deputy regional ministerial position.

I deem it prudent to humbly acknowledge the good people of Wa the awareness of the politics of ethnic and religion that has characterised our political institutions and our democracy as well as offer a modest suggestions with a view of creating a stable, understandable and democratic system of government in the region.

My aim is not to blame any particular ethnic group or religion but to awaken the peoples of Wa from their political deep slumber. It is high time we saw the long-term implication of ethnopolitical and tribal course we are charting in our region.

We must have a fair and balance representation in our political appointment with regards to ethnicity, religious and geographical locations. In deed we can take a cursory look at our past political nomination of presidential and vice presidential candidature in Ghana.

In 2001, the NPP presidential candidate who hailed from the Ashante region nominated his vice presidential candidate who hailed from the northern region and for the matter a Muslim.

The presidential candidate of the NDC who also hailed from the central region while his running mate also hailed from the upper east region and for that matter a Muslim by region, again in the 2004 election year both NDC and NPP repeated the same ethnic arithmetic scenario.

In 2008 the NPP maintained the presidential candidates from southern Ghana with a northern running mate; the NDC on the other hand had a presidential candidate from southern Ghana with a northern running mate.

In the 2012 election the NPP has still maintained southern and northern pair, while the NDC has a pair of candidate of northern presidential and southern vice presidential candidate respectively.

From this analysis and premix it is prudent and reasonable that we have balance upper west regional and deputy regional ministerial position based on religion, tribal and geographical bases.

From the aforementioned analysis I vehemently opposed Hon. Abu K. Kansangbata as the forth coming deputy upper west regional minister and I endorsed a native of Wa for that matter a Muslim as the deputy upper west regional minister.

It is important to make it clear to my colleague comrades in our great party to stop this conflict of interest and disparity in the power sharing in our regional ministerial appointment and make fair and balance power sharing so that we can enhance power sharing and sense of oneness and unity through which we can harness our individual strength for collective good of our region.

I believe this piece of writing will aid our party elders in the region, the presidential advisors, staffers and leading members of the party to do a great job by helping and influencing the president in appointing a balance, fair, qualified and competent person with springboard from Wa to partner Hon. Bede ziedeng to move this region to the next level.

'A butterfly thinks itself a bird', we must know our real identity, and shouldn't 'we' be recognised in upper west region? how long can we still wait to be governed by this imbalance upper west regional ministerial appointment, my brother Awudulai Issahaque should stop this day dream and give us a break.

It is high time we stopped this imbalance appointment of minister and deputy upper west regional minister based on ethnic and religious lines else it will deliberately decide that certain portion of our population will be left out of our political discourse in the region. The people of Wa occupies a dominant portion of the region and must be recognised and respected.

Long live upper west region
Long live Ghana
Long live NDC
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 0206653517/0541036700
Also on the facebook wall: https//:facebook/seidu.samad.

Samad Seidu
Samad Seidu, © 2013

The author has 13 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: SamadSeidu

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