Who is Ghanaian? A rejoinder

Tue, 13 Jun 2006 Source: Jeffrey, Peter

The ongoing debate about who is Ghanaian and the ?Asantes? verses ?the rest of Ghana? must not be allowed to continue. Those who wish doom on our motherland by continuously inflaming this evil tribal hatred should feel ashamed of themselves. They have no place in modern Ghana.

Ivory Coast is a classic example of what can go wrong in a country if those evil politicians and their collaborators in the press are not stopped. The make up of Ivory Coast?s ?Elephants? much teach the Ivorian leadership in both camps, and to some degree the doomsayers in Ghana how ordinary folks do not care or think about tribal differences. As the writer of the original article stated, in Kumasi Metropolis there are almost every tribe in the land represented. The same can be said of the capital, Accra, Tamale (Ghana?s third city) and of this writer?s home town of Sekondi- Takoradi.

Inter-marriages between tribes and other nationals from the West Africa sub-region in the major metropolis is common in Ghana and other West Africa countries. The doomsayers should read about migration in West Africa and its effects on countries and national policies in the sub region. It is this same hotheadedness from politicians whose ?only aim of divide and rule is to get free access to national resources by default? by sowing discord among people who have lived together for generations and majority related through inter-marriages. The Bosnia and the Rwanda atrocities would never ever be allowed to occur in Ghana and any where in West Africa. Those who sow either reap evil. Charles Taylor is a living proof.

As the writer rightly stated the various Zongos and towns bearing names of where one particular tribe originates bears testimony to tolerance of the host town folks. This writer grew up in the mist of tribes from every corner of the West African sub-region. Due to the harbor at Takordi, the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi (where this writer hails from), it became a magnet for those who were aspiring to become seafarers. The old Black Star Line offices at Takordi became a meeting point and a major recruitment center for ?seamen?. Sailors from every tribe congregate under the ?great Nim tree to hear their names called out as to when they were due to board a ship. Every region in the motherland was represented. The same can be said of Kumasi due to its location and the fact that Kumasi is Ghana?s second city and the most culturally rich. Kumasi was the home town of late Baba Yara, one of the finest footballers that emerged from Ghana. Kumasi was also the home town of Malik Jabir, Salisu all of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, kum apem a apem beba; Razak and Akuateh Armah of Cornerstones. All these great footballers were either born or grew up in Kumasi and thus Kumasi became their hometown.

As this writer?s compatriot and brother Bonna Okyere poignantly stated in one of his articles, the front runner for the NPP flagbearship, Arthur Ebo Kobina Kennedy is a fante from Central Region (ironically this writer?s mother is from the same region as Kobina Kennedy, yet spent more than half here natural live outside her home region, including having an ?Asante child? - this writer?s kid sister, now a grown woman and mother) but grew up in Kumasi.

Dr Nkrumah?s policy of inter tribal marriages and his Young Pioneer Movement brought different tribes together in Ghana. Most of our prominent personalities married outside their tribe or have relatives from different tribe. Nkrumah?s policy has stood the test of time. The ?Ivorian Way? cannot ever happened in our motherland.

This debate started with the Northerners then turned to the Ewes and the Fantes after the 2004 elections and now to the Asantes. This sort of debate is wrong and unhealthy for our young democracy and for our motherland. It is time Nananom stand up and defend all tribes living under their chieftaincies and jurisdictions in order to foster unity and development among all peoples. Nananom are the custodians of our tradition as both Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu (oti sika gwa kofi so - meaning the one who sits on the golden stool) and Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin keep reminding all Ghanaians when they come to the West, either to attend some International function or to visit the Diasporean Community, that we must unite to move our country forward. Dr Nkrumah said, ? Forward ever, backward never?. Yet almost 50 years old, there is still infighting among those who should know better. Almost 50 years old, our country is still classified as ? A poor third world country?. Almost 50 years old, tribal bashing is still going on in our country. Almost 50 years old, the education system in our country is in total mess. Almost 50 year old, poverty continues to grow in our country. Almost 50 years ago no child goes hungry in our country. Now, almost 50 years old, and children who have no ?HOME? to go to due to no fault of theirs, are called ?Street Children?. Yes almost 50 years, and country relies on Aid from the Bretton Woods Institutions and NGOs like Oxfam and others to balance their budgets. Dr Nkrumah and Dr Kofi Busia would be turning in their graves. This is the land, our homeland they fought and sacrificed their lives for in order that we can make progress. What is the Score, Folks? We are still debating about who is Ghanaian, and that tribal nonsense.

In their deliberations with the Diasporas Nananom do not discriminate as to where one hails from. That is the maturity and essence of nation building. The onus is now on Nananom to stabilized the unity of our country as we foster to achieve rapid growth by the year 2020. Their wise counsel is what would make the politicians sit and as well as shame the evil among our mist who are only interested to line their pockets, hence would not mind the destruction of our motherland. These nation wreckers should be made aware that there are others who are prepared and willing to die to save Sikaman. This is the only place one can truly called HOME. Nkrumah, Busia, Danquah, Egala and Liman, after many years in diaspora all found their resting place home. Sikaman is where they were nurtured and Sikaman is where they were peacefully rested, with emphasis on ?PEACEFUL?. All the leading presidential hopefuls, including Dr Frimpong Boateng, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Dr Arthur Ebo Kobina Kennedy, Dr Kofi Apraku, Dr Ekow Spio-Garbarh, Osahene Kojo Boakye Djan, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, and Alan Kyeremanten were all once Diasporans who knows the unity that we exhibit in Diaspora. They must preach this unity to Ghanaians in their campaign to be elected the president of the Republic of Ghana.

As the national anthem ?GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA? is played at the world cup in Germany, I believe citizens of Ghana, from Tamale, Wa, Bolgatanga, Suyani, Koforidua, Kumasi, Ho, Accra, Tema, Cape Coast and Sekondi-Takoradi and the Ghanaian Diasporas in all the major cities of the would have one common wish?and that is for the Ghana Black Stars to do well. The whole nation, irrespective of tribe will support the Ghana Black Stars and be behind a ?UNITED TEAM?.

Hen Ara hen asasi ni. This is our land of birth. God Bless Ghana.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter

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