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RCO for NDC largely agrees with Kennedy Agyapong’s comment about northern politicians failing to develop northern Ghana

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“Limann was a President. John Mahama was a president. Aliu Mahama was a Vice President, then current Vice President and you are still poor? You go to the south to do kayayo? I am going to change this place.”

Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central and a hopeful candidate for the NPP’s flag bearer position, made these remarks during his conversation with Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show. His comments implied that prominent politicians originating from the northern half of the country, including former presidents and vice presidents, as well as the current vice president, have failed to utilise their power and influence to positively impact the economic prospects of the region.

Mr. Agyapong insisted that some of the fundamental shortcomings of northern politicians include the absence of shea fruit juice processing factories, large rice farms in the Builsa areas capable of feeding the entire country with surplus for export, and a functional meat processing facility.

While some social media users criticised the outspoken lawmaker for his comments, Jonathan Abdallah Salifu, the Upper East Regional Communications Director for the NDC, speaking on the same platform, stated that the lawmaker’s comments were not unfounded.

“To be very frank with you, to a large extent, I agree with him. We know the state of northern Ghana when President Limann, let’s even say President Nkrumah became the first president of Ghana. We are very much aware that we were being marginalised because of possibly our distance and so many other factors. When he became president, he decided to give a little priority to the north to see if at least we could bridge the gap when it comes to development, education and almost everything. Unfortunately, that in itself hasn’t yielded so much.”

Mr. Abdallah Salifu went ahead to recount several other attempts made by Dr. Kwame Nkruamh to develop northern Ghana, including the electricity generating plant that was established in the then Upper Region. 

The Upper East Regional Communication Officer mentioned that after Nkrumah, all other heads of state, military or otherwise, did very little to deliberately develop northern Ghana “until the inception of the 4 republic which was under the leadership of His Excellency Former President, Jerry John Rawlings. Mr. Rawlings did a lot, and if for nothing at all, the electricity we enjoy here today was brought by Mr. Rawlings. I remember it used to take 2-3 days to either get to Kumasi or Accra. He decided to construct a trunk road for the people of Northern Ghana. He left many monumental legacies for northern Ghana.”

The Regional Communication Officer mentioned that President Kufuor also came, and contributed, particularly with regard to the construction and development of the Upper East Regional Hospital.

“President Kufuor did very well. We cannot run away from it,” he said. 

Mr. Abdallah Salifu additionally commended the Mills-Mahama administration for contributing, particularly to the linkage of the regional capital to many other districts including “the almighty Bolga_Bawku Road. This issue is not under contention.”

All the contributions notwithstanding, Mr. Abdallah Salifu said, “if you want to look at the stalled projects, you may want to believe what Mr. Agyapong said quite recently. If you want to look at the factories that either existed or that successive governments have claimed they are working on, you may be tempted to believe what Kennedy Agyapong just said.”

He however contended that for nationalism and political reasons, governments should not be seen only developing on half of the country, “because you look for votes across. You try to do the development but based on what many of us have admitted, I think the government must make an effort to make sure the development gap between north and south is closed.” 

The Upper East Regional Communication Officer for NDC, maintained that while Kennedy Agyapong’s comment may be right, the likes of former president, John Mahama have excelled in developing northern Ghana. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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