What wrong have we done ?

Thu, 18 Mar 2021 Source: Gad Peter Agbayiza

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In my quest to find out why many of the youth especially the youths from Volta region are writing their surnames to suit other people’s pronunciations, I found out that racial discrimination is one of the many factors that accounts for that.

Yes, some people recently lumped all the Voltarians as Togolese and some too indulge in saying unpleasant things about the good people of Volta region; ‘Ewe women celebrating a voodoo festival’, ‘Volta region choose their chiefs by voting.

The voting is influenced by the elders’ and many other names. In order to escape some of these things, the very people who have the capability to change this status quo are indirectly forsaking their culture. I refuse to be one of them!

Today, I intend to share my opinion on this tribal bigotry not because I am an Ewe, but because one of the comments made by one partisan politician who in an attempt to defend what many of us thought could have been condemned by the president of the land and all other meaningful and well thinking Ghanaians.

This politician in his thinking faculty assumed that many of our good samaritans who do not want to see Ghana in pieces and hence for years took it upon themselves to educate the citizenry on why tribal bigotry should not be encouraged, do that for political perusal.

To him they are talking about this uncalled discriminatory book because the Volta region gives them many votes in every general election. How could you make such a statement on national television? What have we done wrong?

The statement ‘If you can speak my language and you step on my toe, I am not bothered’ was never true and it will never have a leg to stand on among us. We are loving people and our kind gestures to everyone propel us to maintain our integrity both home and abroad.

We are not good to only our fellow Voltarians like how one sentence depicts it. I hear people who have not contributed anything meaningful to the struggle of Ghana’s independence lumping Ewes discriminatorily.

Hmm! I do not blame them because many of them either do not know or have forgotten that it took an Ewe man Mr. K.A. Gbedemah, from the Volta Region, who strengthened the convection people party and campaigned for Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s victory which birthed the historic Independence from our colonial master, in 1957.

Gbedema who would have become that great iconic political star in all spheres of life gave all the chances he had to Nkrumah and today you are referring to the Ewe as a tribe which discriminates? What sins have we committed? Tell us, we will ask for forgiveness.

Or should I assume you have not checked your history well. Anyway, these are some sorts of history we should expect since we allow other people who are poorly sick to rewrite our history.

It is undeniable that Ewes played valiant roles not only in the victory of the convection people party whose ultimate aim was to gain independence but also in all proceedings which led to the independence of Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah was not an ingrate like some of our political leaders whose aim is to enrich and rewrite the history of Ghana to suit their tribes.

That was why even at a point when he had the opportunity to downplay the contribution of his fellow men towards his victory; he declined and visited Anlogland with much thanks and appreciation. If Ewes discriminate, how on earth would they make Nkrumah their ceremonial chief in Anloga?

If Ewes discriminate, would the people of Afife make president Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo their development chief? Or do you think we do not have prominent people to enstool as ceremonial and development chiefs?

I am not under any illusion whatsoever to say that this attempt of referring to Ewes as people who discriminate is an attempt to isolate us from public spaces. But let it be known to those who are indulging in this battle they cannot finish that the Chiefs and people of Volta Region have significantly contributed to the development of Ghana.

Besides, history tells us that the neatest cities in the world were once a village so someone in his parochial interest who ended up playing fool on himself in an attempt to make one tribe inferior by saying; ‘The ewe people still live in villages’ should be reminded that in the small village of this country, came the nation founder so something good can come from our small village as well.

Or do you want me to talk about how Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata, Prof. Amuzu Kpeglo, Kofi Awunor, Manasseh, Avle, Dr. Mawuko-Yevugah, Prof.Gatsi, Prof. Ahiakpor, Prof. Ahiatrogah, Dr. Kawor, Dr. Adjakloe and others contributed to Ghana from their small village?

All of us need to condemn the discrimination against Ewe especially what the so called book seeks to inculcate in and among children and adolescents. We ought not to forget that most consistent effects of racism among children and adolescents are for negative mental health outcomes.

Anyone who wants a peaceful nation would not engage the young ones in a battle of tribal bigotry. This battle of tribal supremacy will compromise wellbeing and impact developmental trajectories.

I refuse to be loud in my silence not precisely because Volta region is beign mentioned but because I think the time has come for us especially Volta Region Students’ Association of Ghana (VORSAG) to help put an end to tribal discrimination in our universities and bureaucratic organizations.

Let nobody be deceived that VORSAG would sit idle. We are prepared to protest nationwide to stop this tribal bigotry now and forever!

Let us all rise and condemn this before a night befalls on us where we might not have the light to recognize who our real enemy is.

'To speak less is wisdom, to eat less is healthy and to mingle less with people is safe and serene'. Ewes would remain hospitable, generous, kind and what have you, but we shall not forget our history and the maltreatment melted on us. 'Whether the egg crashes on the coconut or the coconut crashes on the egg, it is the egg that suffers'. These descriptive words on Volta Region and its people must stop!

Long live Volta Region

Long live Ewes

Long live VORSAG

Columnist: Gad Peter Agbayiza