Member of Parliament(MP) for the Asawasi Constituency, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has laid the blame for the “poverty” in Zongo settlements in Ghana at the doorstep of the late Mr Edward Akufo Addo and his Dankwa-Busia Political Tradition for their role in extraditing some Zongo dwellers from the country in 1969.
Speaking at the just-ended National Democratic Congress (NDC) Town Hall Meeting on the “People’s Manifesto” in Kumasi, Hon. Muntaka recalled a period in the history of the country when according to him, persons deemed to be non-natives were forced to leave the Zongo communities for their various hometowns, in an exercise nicknamed at the time “K)Wo Kurom”.
“Everybody know that people living in Zongos are not lazy people; but it is for a particular reason that poverty is common in Zongo. A lot of the time, people do not want to hear the truth so when you say it they say you are bringing division, forgetting that their very actions are that which is divisive. The “K)Wo Kurom” that happened in 1969, under the Busia-Dankwa Regime, at the time that Nana Akufo Addo’s father was the president, was the foundation of poverty in Zongo, but a lot of people do not know”, he asserted.
The Majority Chief Whip was ostensibly referring to the 1969 “Ghana Aliens Compliance Order” (GACO) under Prime Minister K.A. Busia where up to 3 million Nigerians and other African and Non-African immigrants who constituted 20% of the Ghanaian population at the time were deported from Ghana.
He said the law deprived people from Zongo communities who were then controlling business and commerce at Adum and the Kumasi Central Market to lose their investments and livelihoods, thereby causing poverty to find roots in those settlements.
He also highlighted some of the initiatives of successive NDC governments that have bettered the lot of Zongo dwellers including the formalization of the “Makaranta” learning centres to fully fledges educational centres and institutionalization of Eid’ul Fitr and Eid’ul Adha Islamic festivities as public holidays.
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