It’s Time, Northerner!

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The noise and the vague promises are about to begin as we approach the polls. Every four years, it is a repetition of the same promises and the same expectations. But as every light in the day will surely be followed by the darkness of the night, their promises precedes its failure.

Northern region is the biggest region in terms of land size and it has less than 50% of the total land size developed. The two other northern regions had been considered as two of the poorest regions in the country. Coupled with the lack of jobs in these two regions, most of the youth are always seen trooping southwards for greener pastures. All the illustrious sons of the north have their businesses established at either Kumasi or Accra and their families relocated there. I would like to use this opportunity to state what I think are the reasons behind the mass migration of the youth out of the three northern regions and the underdevelopment we are seeing at the north. We might be quick to conclude that it is due to poverty but poverty in itself is not a cause but is largely the result of social and cultural gaps, that perpetuate and on which the people who suffer have no power.

The northern regions are filled with superstitions about witches, witchcraft and the idea that there is always someone around waiting to kill you when you try to start something worth talking about or a business. This has managed to drive many young people from the regions and also prevented other young men from returning to the regions after they have been trained as qualified personnel in their professions. I once argued vehemently with a fellow northerner who totally believes that northerners are ungrateful and wicked. He defends his actions by telling me a story about why he doesn’t go to his village again. [pullquote]Poverty is largely the result of social and cultural gaps, that perpetuate and on which the people who suffer have no power.[/pullquote]

In as much as I won’t deny that there are witches or wizards at the northern regions, I won’t also accept that it is only the three regions of the north that harbors all the witches and wizards in the nation considering there are some regions in Ghana that are considered as ‘powerful’ when it comes to spiritual matters. Rev. Eastwood Anaba, Anyanah Achelisewine Benjamin and others have shown us that there are greater and bigger opportunities at the north than superstition. Many have made it big up here and I believe the probability of making it big at the north is still higher than that of making it big down south.

The predaceous nature of the northern politician is highly reprehensible. Time after time, the politicians at the north have been preying on the locals and the voters. Like a chief I know in Ashanti region, whose palace alone is worth more than the properties and houses in his community combined so are some northern politicians. His people are living and dying in poverty whilst he is establishing businesses all around the country. Northern politicians are exactly like that chief. They leave the constituency in a taxi but returns in land cruisers which have no regard for the pothole-filled roads. Building big houses in the city in order to hide it from the constituents.

The three northern regions have most of the Mugabe’s of Ghana politics, bribing their ways through elections and making themselves rich and richer at the expense of the weak and the poor. One big Mugabe was uprooted in 2012. His constituents asked him to honorably step aside after staying in parliament for 20 years but he refuted saying the people still love him. He paid his way through primaries but no one can pay all the constituent for their vote.

So he fell and his fall was really great. The north should follow that example by kicking out any parliamentarian or politicians who decides on their behalf if they are not doing enough. I will later bring my views on the performances of the northern parliamentarians and you would decide whether they need re-election or the red card. The north is lacking common amenities such as electricity, good drinking water and good roads that will connect the villages and farms to the big cities where the major markets are located. Overnight, roads were constructed in the just ended by-election at the Talensi. This shows how ignorant politicians think constituents are.

They believe they can just get our votes with the little ‘surprise package’ they provide, something we are entitled to in the first place. The progenitors of our parliamentary system had the well-being of the constituents at heart. If the north can make things really happen more than they are now, then we must kick out stomach politicians and be able to make out propaganda from truths.

Every region develops and expands by vibrant entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and business owners employs more than three times what the government sector employs. A community that relies on the government to survive is predestined to fail. The government is expected to make conditions in the country favorable for businesses to strive and then entrepreneurs and business owners take over. Never in the history of Mankind has it been heard of that a person from one community or country is developing another’s community or country.

The so-called development they bring is followed by their selfish ambitions to gain more than they have invested. China, IMF, World Bank, US and the UK does not give financial assistance to Ghana because we are poor and dearly needs it but because they have found another opportunity to exploit us as they have been doing since they first landed at our shores. The north can be developed by northerners. All must come home, pick our tools or expertise and get to work. The north has a future and that future is not in the hands of the politicians or the government, it is in our own hands.

It is time.The politicians will start having their say but we must also have our way. Let them act as if they care and we will also pretend likewise. Bawku can become the once loving and peaceful town we used to know. The Andani’s and the Abudu’s can smoke the peace pipe and admit to each other that they erred in one way or the other which led to these long years of tension and hatred. We can forget about revenge and hatred in order to push Northern Ghana forward.

This is our land and it is either we develop it or die trying.

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