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Stop politicising Oti Region. Akuffo Addo, Togbe Afede X1V are on the same wave length

Togbe Afede II Togbe Afede X1V

Wed, 21 Nov 2018 Source: Kufuor, Appiah-Danquah

“Calling yourself a Ghanaian must mean you have signed up to a certain definable code and conduct - being a Ghanaian puts an obligation on each one of us to work at building a fair, prosperous and happy nation – Being a Ghanaian must mean we look out for each other”. President Addo- Dankwah Akuffo Addo in his inaugural speech at Independence Square.

“The development plan we are launching today was inspired by the belief that the development of our nation is a shared responsibility, and the traditional authorities, who are closest to the people, have an important role to play. -we are taking a bold step towards a stronger acceptance of our responsibility to facilitate the realization of the development aspirations of our people and we are calling on all of the region’s sons and daughters to play a role in the unfolding history.” Togbe Afede X1V during the launch of Volta Region Economic Development Plan.

Setting the Record Straight

Let me get one simple truth out of the way. It is a fact, undeniable fact that the then President Elect, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede X1V openly committed themselves on the same platform to work together to resolve the “ticking time –bomb” of massive youth unemployment, underdevelopment, infrastructure deficit, corruption and the abuse of power engulfing our country when Nana Akuffo Addo paid a courtesy call on Togbe Afede X1V in Ho. Ho was the second city to be visited by the then elected President after his victory.

At Ho, President elect Nana Akuffo Addo and Togbe Afede X1V reiterated their determination to focus their energies, leadership skills, authority and resources in creating a better society for the next generation. They promised the masses at Ho that, they were determined to build a society that was prosperous, healthier and more cohesive but just as importantly recognising our diversity.

We cheered, clapped and raised the roof particularly the NPP faithful’s who could not believe their eyes. Folks, I was at Ho on this historic moment. I personally led the delegation of the then President elect to the podium to greet the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State. It was a very emotional and proud day for me. An Ashanti lad leading an elected President of Akyem descent, to the podium to greet an Ewe king. It was truly reflective of the rainbow Ghana that I have always dreamed of, for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Creation of Oti Region

Readers may be asking what has this got to do with the current brouhaha over the creation of the Oti Region? Everything, brothers and sisters everything. I want to categorically state here for the benefit of our readers without any ambiguity or hesitation. I can speak on authority, that President Akuffo Addo and Togbe Afede X1V are friends. They respect each other, bounce ideas of each other and both are fiercely committed to the socio – economic development of the country in general and the Volta Region in particular.

If I may also add, the Chairman of the Promotion of Oti Region, Nana Krachiwura, the current President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs- Paramount Chief of Likpe - Nana Soglo Alloh 1V and Nana Owusu Afari, Nkosuohene of Worawura are all good friends of Togbe Afede X1V. They happen to be Directors of the Volta Region Economic Development Agency. Indeed, all of us have always worked as a team, travelled together to seek investors for the region, promoted the socio economic development of the region and are still good friends. There is no misunderstanding, or bitterness among any of the traditional chiefs in the Volta Region just a clash on matters of judicial and constitutional principles.

Commitment to Ghana Plc.

To show the depth of commitment of Togbe Afede X1V to mother Ghana, when young James Akpo (future Togbe Afede X1V) completed Yale University, he did not spend a day more in the United States. He flew back to Ghana a day after graduation and convinced his best friend and colleague at Yale our current able and intelligent Minster of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta to come back to Ghana, join hands and create Data Bank- the first Investment Bank in the country. As young men they shared an apartment at Laterbiokorshie and were the best of friends.

Believe me, Togbe Afede X1V, like President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo are true patriots of Ghana and we are proud of both of them. To buttress my point, both President Akuffo Addo and Togbe Afede X1V are in favour of the creation of a new region in the Northern part of the Volta Region and are of the view that it will help in the accelerated development of the Northern part of the region.

Oti Region – Differences over Processes

The fundamental difference between the President and Togbe is on the processes of the creation of the region and fundamental disagreements on who is entitled to vote in the referendum. Folks, it is perfectly alright and democratically healthy for Togbe Afede X1V to express his support for the creation of another region in the Volta Region and at the same time oppose the processes. leading to the creation of the region. Democratic governance is full of inherent contradictions, that is the beauty of it.

The most beautiful axiom of democratic disagreement is “Let us agree to disagree”.

For example, last week end I attended our annual fair at my adopted village Romiley- Cheshire in the North Western part of the United Kingdom. Whilst having a cup of tea, I happened to bump in to my neighbour Sir Andrew Stunnell OBE, (he wrote the foreword to the Volta Region Economic Development Plan). Our encounter led us on to familiar territory – political discussions specifically Brexit.

I questioned him on his views on the draft withdrawal agreement presented to Parliament by Hon. Theresa May, Prime Minster. Although he was a remainer he respected the democratic vote of the people and was not particularly happy with the draft agreement. Brexit like Oti, has exposed the inherent contradictions in democratic institutions. The UK Brexit Secretary of State resigned not because he was opposed to the withdrawal of UK from the European Union but over the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

It was therefore okay for the Secretary of State of Brexit negotiations to be in favour of the democratic mandate approving the withdrawal of UK from the EU but to oppose the terms and conditions of the divorce agreement. Like Oti, Togbe Afede X1V has no problem with the creation of a new region but vehemently opposes the terms and conditions surrounding the creation of the region.

Stop Promoting Non- Existent Ethnic Divisions

One just needs to listen to the current brouhaha over the creation of regions in Ghana, particularly Oti Region and one begins to question the motives of some of the serial callers, political and social commentators.

Let me add that some commentaries on the division of the regions are analytical, concise, informative, refreshing and enlightening. Others are just “palm-wine” talk aimed at creating a non-existent gulf and divide between Togbe Afede X1V, President Nana Akuffo Addo, NPP and the good people of Ghana.

Some contributors under the guise of free speech insult, malign, and write extremely hurtful comments about the President of the National House of Chiefs all with the aim and intention of bringing his good name into disrepute. Of course, in any democracy everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and one cannot censor writings and speeches that are inflammatory or anti-democratic but we must all be circumspect in our utterances.

I do however share the sentiments of some of your readers that the national cake must be shared equitably and that as much as possible it should be based on need. However, it is a national disgrace that some of us have made it our duty either to promote ethnic tensions by demonising individuals and whole sections of society or by adding douses of ethnic pepper to every social/economic issue.

They know themselves and must bow down their heads in shame. Even responsible social commentators who should know better are all singing ethnic tunes and dancing to the demonic sounds of “ethnic brass-bands”. Our inability to accept and realise that there is only one tribe in Ghana and that is “tribe poverty” would one day come to haunt our children and grand children

Our President Nana Akuffo Addo has stated categorically that the only tribe that he recognises is the Ghanaian tribe and his agenda is an agenda for change to improve the total well-being of all citizens of the country. Thank you Mr. President.

Equally, Togbe Afede X1V has stated on many platforms that his fight is not with any individual, group, party, tribe or organisation but with ignorance, poverty, unemployment, under development corruption and bad governance.

Adios to both the President and Togbe. The issue is before the Supreme Court of Ghana, whatever our eminent judges decide on 27th November 2108, GHANA WILL BE THE WINNER.

I leave my country folks with these simple ten words of two letters each: “If it is to be, it is up to us”. We are the navigators of our countries destiny.

Columnist: Kufuor, Appiah-Danquah