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Ashanti Region is a cow .....

Mon, 16 Jun 2014 Source: Yawose, John

Ashanti Region is a cow & other Regions are other animals, indeed.

An aspect of the beauty of our democracy is the provisions available in the 1992 constitution which we have all agreed should shape our actions for both the ruling government and the governed - to stage demonstrations for or against a cause within the confines of the law freely without inhibition. No one defines the cause for the demonstrators. They have the right to choose their cause or causes because of which they would want to demonstrate and the location of the demo. By the provisions, political parties, churches, chiefs, judges, workers, patients, individuals etc can go on demonstration if they so wish.

It happened last Tuesday that NPP MPs and supporters in Ashanti Region staged a massive demonstration and marched along the streets of Kumasi to protest what they described as excessive hardships in the region. Dubbed, “Yay? d?n demo” to wit “what have we done demo”, the protest saw hundreds of the party’s supporters in the region wield placards to protest some of government’s policies in the region, which they say, have rendered most of them jobless and hopeless. .It is being said that even some notable NDC members in the region took part in the demonstration as well as other party members. Of course everyone is feeling the pinch of the reckless handling of the economy by the NDC/Mahama administration. All this should be normal. But some abnormalities have started to set in after the demonstration. For their own reasons, some Ghanaians especially intolerant and shaken NDC top dogs have been condemning Asante Region people and NPP MPs for daring to stage the demonstration. Those condemning the demonstration are also exercising their rights and I don’t have any quarrel with that at all. But I am at a loss as to why the condemnations should be extended to calling Asantes, tribalists for staging the demonstration. These NDC goons are calling the demonstrators, including MPs and Ashanti Region people names. Where did this come from that; Murtala Muhammed, Sampson Ahi, Ofosu Kwakye, Joseph Jammin, all NDC Dep. Ministers of State are mocking Ashanti Region people and making damnable ethnocentric comments about Asantes on radio/tv just because the NPP exercised their democratic rights and staged a demo in Kumasi?

Kofi Wayo the mercurial and irrational UPR leader also took a swipe at the demonstrators and said the MPs do not have any moral right to have embarked on that demo. Kofi Wayo called the demonstrators as saboteurs. He further called on President Mahama to put his foot down and crack down on the saboteurs and any group of people who want to play tribal politics because it is so dangerous for the unity of the state. Read Kofi Wayo’s uncomplimentary comments from the publication dubbed – ‘Wayo dissects NPP over Kumasi demo’ - https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=312545 Similarly, the NDC Regional Secretary, Raymond Tandoh, in another report dubbed – ‘Ashanti NPP demo promoted ethnic twist”- accused the region’s branch of NPP of using the demonstration to promote an ethnic agenda and in an intolerant, bigoted and a typical old-fashioned fascist and crudet craze called for the arrest of NPP leaders in this our 2014 politics. Another NDC vile commentator Alex Sawyer talked nastily and sounded sadistic describing the demonstrators as criminals who are a threat to national unity and that they are trying to isolate Ashanti from Ghana and also that they should forget thinking about Ashanti and rather focus on Ghana. To all intense and purposes, these utterances are balderdash, unacceptable and unmatched in vicious tomfoolery and should be resisted. The verminous loudmouths Murtala Muhammed, Kofi Wayo, Joseph Jammin, Sampson Ahi and NDC as a whole should be fair to Asantes and Asante Region. I will ask questions.

Don’t Asante Region residents have the right to protest about hardships in the region whether through a party, chiefs, politicians, workers or students? Why that, anything Asante Region does is branded tribalism? Why that, people of other regions can protest and say things freely about their regions and no one reads tribalism and criminalism into it? The adage is that, all the animals run but as soon as the cow runs then it is considered mad. Ashanti Region are the cows, the other regions are the other animals in Ghana eh, eh, eh?

I hold that NDC by their comments on the NPP demo in Ashanti are insulting the chiefs and people of Ashanti Region wanting to hold them to ransom. They are unwarrantedly intimidating and provoking Asantes. I will explain. Just two weeks ago, Volta Region House of Chiefs led by its President the powerful Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV and others including the Paramount Chiefs of the Avatime and Bator Traditional Areas, Osie Adza Tekpor VII and Togbe Katamia Dzekle exercised their constitutional rights in the name of Volta Region and protested freely about the hardships Voltarians are facing out of neglect of the region by Mahama administration. Check the news report dubbed – ‘We are tired! Volta Chiefs bark at Mahatma’ –in https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=311454. I ask NDC whether Ewes were tribalists with the Ewe chiefs making those demands. Were they trying to let Ewes feel bigger than other tribes in Ghana? Were they saboteurs? Were they making Ghana ungovernable? Were their calls disgusting and parochial? Do they have to be arrested for painting the Mahama government in a bad light? Is it to be said that Volta Region chiefs are criminals seeking to isolate Ewes from Ghana by concentrating on issues about Volta Region in their protests?

In the report, the Volta House of Chiefs called for the completion of the Sogakofe-Adidome-Ho, Mafi-Adaklu-Ho roads and other projects in their region all right. If it was acceptable for Ewes to make those demands, why do Ashantis become criminals, saboteurs and tribalists when they call for the completion of Sofoline Interchange, Kumasi airport, Boankra Inland port etc in their region? Don’t Ashantis have the right to make legitimate demands for their region as Volta Region has been doing freely over the years? Is Ashanti Region not part of Ghana? The constitution allows any body to choose their medium of protest. Volta Region has chosen to protest through their chiefs. Ashanti Region has chosen to protest through their MPs, so what? Who chooses what medium should be used to protest in regions by the peoples of the regions? Would it have been acceptable if Ashanti Region had gone the Volta way and protested through their chiefs led by Asantehene?.

We are in this country and the youth and peoples of Northern region have been constantly protesting and calling on govts to attend to their plights even through the medium of violent conducts. For instance, just three days ago, Wa NDC youth chose their usual way of demo against Mahama government and went on rampage protesting over their sacked Regional Minister Bede Ziedeng. In the process the rampaging Upper West youth destroyed properties. Unlike the Ashanti Region procession, the Upper West Youth procession was even without permit and condemnable. Are we then to brand Upper Westerners and Wala people as tribalists, criminals parochialists, saboteurs, making Ghana ungovernable or wanting to impose their native Wala authority on Ghanaians as a whole or wanting to isolate Upper West from Ghana? Were Western Region chiefs who made gargantuan demands from the oil monies criminals and saboteurs wanting to isolate Western Region from Ghana?

Again, I say Murtala Muhammed, Kofi Wayo, and their vicious clique have not been fair to Ashanti Region with their provocative remarks which I regard as insults. They are rather arrogant and pompous showing disrespect to the Asante Region people. They are sort of haunting Asantes without just cause. Asantes and Asante Region are being told to just keep quiet and suffer under their recklessness but then the other regions can protest freely. Is that how we are going to continue to treat one region? What an insult to a region? What contempt? They should stop the provocations. Murtala Muhammed especially is particularly persistent and sort of haunting down Asantes at every opportunity. It could be due to inferiority complex and needs complete therapy out of his inferiority complex. To his prejudicial mind, anything Ashanti is interpreted that; Ashantis are looking down on other tribes and wanting to feel bigger than other tribes in Ghana. These criticisms are provocative and fit into the NDC diabolical doctrine to constantly portray Asantes as feeling bigger than other tribes and thereby fan anti-Ashanti sentiments for political purposes. I am baffled. I am exasperated. The matter should be raised in parliament for thorough discussions. We can’t build a nation with such vile prejudicial sentiments.

NDC should tell us why it is criminal and tribal if Ashanti Region MPs protest and demonstrate against hardships in Asante Region and why it is right, non-criminal and non-tribal for Volta Region Chiefs, Western Region chiefs or Upper West Youth to protest peculiar challenges and hardships in their respective regions. NDC must endeavour to be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of all regions and stop the unnecessary anti-Ashanti tendencies which can threaten the unity of Ghana.

Is it that Ashanti Region is a cow and the other Regions are other animals?

John Yawose

Columnist: Yawose, John