The camp of beleaguered Nantong Member of Parliament, Hon. Murtala Mohammed doubts the authenticity of a supposed petition forwarded to President John Dramani Mahama on the Deputy Trade Minister's recent vituperative outburst on radio.
In a Ghana News Agency story headlined, "Appoint matured and civil northerners into gov't – Northern chiefs to Mahama," the said publication created the impression that Chiefs, Imams and other opinion leaders in the three northern regions of Ghana unanimously condemned allegations of corruption leveled some of against them by Murtala Mohammed.
The publication further indicated that the aforementioned bodies also petitioned President Mahama to consider competence, experience and high-mindedness in the appointment of representatives of the Northern Regions to serve in government.
These submissions according to the GNA report were contained in a press statement signed by Alhaji Hamid Alhassan for Chiefs, Islamic Clerics, and Opinion leaders of the Northern Regions, which they said was in reaction to 'the ill-mannered allegations made by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, also an MP for Nanton, Murtala Mohammed to the effect that Northern Chiefs are corruptible and are hypocrites."
But the Nantong Legislator's camp has in a sharp rebuttal rubbished the publication and said it must be treated with the contempt that it deserved.
This was contained in a rejoinder signed by Adam Abukari, Secretary to the Deputy Minister of Trade and copied Citi News.
Below is the full rejoinder.
RE: Mahama must appoint matured and civil northerners into government – Northern chiefs
We have read with shock and dismay a publication in the media calling on President Mahama to "consider competence experience and high-mindedness in his appointments" and attempts to use the deputy minister for Trade and Industry and M.P for the Nantong constituency, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Murtala's recent statements about chiefs and Imams as a yardstick to justify their call.
The publication attributed to one Alhaji Hamid Alhassan is purported to have been issued at the end of a meeting by chiefs and Imams from the three northern regions who allegedly expressed disgust at comments made by Hon. Murtala against them.
We find the contents of the publication not only mischievous but also a lie just to suggest to the whole nation that Hon. Murtala has lost favour with the chiefs, a charge contrary to the reality on the ground.
First of all, as concerned citizens we have taken the pains to gauge the reactions of our chiefs concerning the statements made by the Nantong MP and we can confidently state that no chief has raised any issue with the statement. Secondly we wish to state that no such meeting of chiefs and Imams has taken place anywhere in the three northern regions and beyond
The above notwithstanding we wish to pose the following questions:
When and where did the meeting take place?
Who and who were involved in the meeting?
These and many more questions need to be answered by Alhaji Hamid Alhassan.
We, however, wish to state that Hon. Murtala has shown enough remorse over some of the statements he made and has publicly apologized to the admiration of some of the chiefs we have visited.
Our investigations have revealed that a youth group in Tamale that has gained notoriety for asking President Mahama to sack ministers from Northern Region is behind this statement so-called issued by Alhaji Hamid whose identity we can confidently question.
Indeed, this same youth group is on record to have burnt NDC billboards when their favorite candidate was not yet given a ministerial position. This same group is also on record to have threatened the Gukpe-Naa on allegations that the chief had met with President Mahama and had asked that the MP for Tamale South and the metropolitan chief executive for Tamale be sacked.
Apart from beating up the MP for Tamale central and minister for Roads and Highways late last year, this group also is known to be harassing government and party officials for money and contracts thus creating impunity in the region that constitutes a substantial risk of breaching the peace.
Indeed Hon. Murtala has had and still has a cordial relationship with the chiefs and Imams in the region.
Consequently, we wish to create the indulgence of President Mahama to consider using the national security to investigate whether or not such meeting of chiefs and imams took place.
We have no doubt that President Mahama considers loyalty in appointing ministers and as the first post-independence head of state appreciates the need to give the youth a chance in government with the understanding that they will gain experience with time.
We have no doubt that Hon. Murtala has excelled as a deputy minister and is well baked and ready for the position of substantive minister.
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