I Bear No Grudge Against My Cousins or UDS

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 Source: Ziem, Joseph

By Joseph Ziem

There is an Akan adage that says, “Nea otwa asa nnim se nakyi akyia”. To wit, he who dances so beautifully does not know that his/her back is crooked. The authorities of the University for Development Studies [UDS] don’t know that, whiles they dance so beautifully to the admiration of almost everybody it will take the media to tell them that, there is something wrong with their style and perhaps should change to a different style.

I must state here emphatically that, I bear no grudge or envy against any principal officer of the UDS; not even the Vice Chancellor as some uninitiated persons are suggesting. For those who are against me for writing such articles as “Tribalism, Nepotism and Ineptitude Destroying UDS” and “Trail of Corruption In UDS: A Mere Perception or Reality”, wish that I do pure public relations but unfortunately I hate to do it.

What I’m doing with regards to the UDS, is what I call self-introspection. The self here refers to all Northerners in and outside of the UDS including Me. Indeed, it hurts me so much that anytime I mention Northerners, some residents in the Northern Region think I’m making reference to them. Northerners here is referring to all residents of the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions. We ought to find some time and criticize ourselves and STOP the backbiting, sabotage and ethnocentric behaviours that WE constantly engage in.

Also, I must emphasise the point that I don’t habour any form of hatred against my cousins [Dagombas]. I don’t have any problem with them occupying higher positions in the UDS as SOME myopic people think that is the motive behind my articles. Similarly, I don’t have any problem with Frafras [my playing mates] or my own tribe [Dagaabas] occupying sensitive positions in this great university which future is being toyed with by some perceived selfish individuals.

But my worry is, other people are being denied the opportunity to work in UDS whenever they apply for jobs? For some of those people, it’s because they don’t have anyone in the university to assist them that is why they are frequently disappointed notwithstanding the fact that they have the required qualifications. In fact, this is something that ought to be of concern to all right thinking people considering the fact that the UDS believe in equal opportunities for all, yet it appears some individuals or groups are disgruntled.

Besides, many people have negative perceptions about the university perhaps due to certain things its predecessors did that continue to haunt the reputation of the current administration. If truly the UDS believe in equal opportunities for all irrespective of tribe, religion or status, then that should be well demonstrated by the authorities for the Ghanaian public to see, so that they could still have some confidence in the institution.

Moreover, it’s obvious at this juncture that the university’s Public Relations Department should be up and doing because they a lot of work [branding] to do regarding the above stated concerns. Distributing letters of invitation to media houses and taking care of their needs during events organized by the university is not enough. Not even the annual press soiree which is supposed to bring all representatives of the various media houses in Tamale together is enough.

Seriously, I think the university authorities should try as much as possible to speak directly to the public through the electronic media [radio] which a lot of people have access to. The Vice-Chancellor or Registrar can use the radio to address some of the supposed sensitive issues I raised in my previous articles in order to regain public confidence; not just for themselves but for the university as an academic institution that hopes to become a centre of excellence in the not too distant future.

In conclusion, if there is anybody out there who thinks that my previous articles almost forced s/he to think negatively against me or any group of persons, that person should understand that that wasn’t my intention for writing such opinion pieces. I encourage anybody who read my articles to try as much as possible and do deeper analyses before making any conjectures or drawing conclusions. Readers should always look at the bigger picture behind the articles I write and not what they see on the surface. Nonetheless, it hurts me most anytime I write such articles because I’m also a Northerner and for that matter, a concerned Ghanaian.

The writer is a freelance journalist but regularly writes for The Daily Dispatch Newspaper. Views or comments may be sent to him via ziemjoseph@yahoo.com/ +233 207344104.

Columnist: Ziem, Joseph