Hmmmm. I don’t even know where to start addressing BONABOTO from. Whether to address them from the point of view of they having opinion on matters that don’t matter or to address them first from the point of view of they not having an opinion on the things that matter. I could alternatively address them from the point of view of them being a weak organization with strong backbenchers, or to address them as a perceived strong organization with weak frontbenchers.
Before anything, I am ANABA IRVING ADUGBIRE. Call me LigriNaba, and I will even be gladder. My name alone should suggest that I am a Gurune, by default- and a BONABOTO, by another default. If you were looking for where I found that audacity to say something about BONABOTO that is where my right is from. Now that you know who I am, I hope I can go ahead and say my mind on this BONABOTO organization and its people-which includes me by the way.
BONABOTO- Bolgatanga, Nangodi, Bongo, Tongo. Yeah, that’s what BONABOTO means, and supposed to stand for. When you check on our (their) website, it says it represents the four main towns of the said districts. A weak definition to start with. So where do the people of Sirigu and those areas surrounding it belong? So now that Zuarungu is on its way to becoming a district, after having become a constituency, wont it become a major town? And when it becomes a major town, the name BONABOTO doesn’t capture ZUARAUNGU, and so they are not BONABOTO? Crazy. Mere madness. Thought BONABOTO should have been defined as an identity of a people, rather than a geographic representation (cos the definition is context by major towns). What will we lose if we say BONABOTO is a CSO for the Gurune/Frafra people? When you look abroad, you can find movements like the BLACK PANTHER PARTY, the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT. These are not geographic specific organisations, they are organisations that look out for the welfare of an identity called BLACK. Why even look far, in the university we had organisations like ASHANTI STUDENTS UNION, not ASHANTI REGION STUDENTS UNION. An Ashanti is an Ashanti, a black is a black, and so a FRAFRA/GURUNE should be a FRAFRA/GURUNE. Our identification should be by association, not by some sickly and loose geographic definition. If BONABOTO is a CSO to champion the development of anything, it should start with an agenda to develop an identity of its own, not to be imagined as a CSO fighting for a particular geography. My earlier misinterpretation of the word “BONABOTO” even makes more sense than my realization that it was “BOLGA, NANGODI, BONGO, TONGO. I used to think that BONABOTO means “LOOK FOR IT AND BRING IT TO US” ( BO NA BO TO). Having limited our scope and definition to the four major towns, Sirigu and Mirigu, and Kandiga have been put in a position of choice to choose between being part of BONABOTO or KANASU( Kassena-Nankana). Yes, these people may be part of the area of Kassena-Nankana, administratively, but they are Frafras/Gurune too. Their “belongness” should be by association as Frafras/Gurune, not by where they find themselves, geographically. Because of this, students of these three areas in UCC were confused as to where they belong: you had some belonging and going for KANASU( KASSENA-NANKANA STUDENTS UNION), and some associating themselves with and coming to BONABOTO meetings. Mind you, strength is in numbers and we are already a minority to start with. We can’t therefore afford to be gifting people and productive people to other areas because we don’t even know who we.
And there comes a big nuisance of the organization, Stanley Abopam. Who is this guy? He seems to be saying anything about everything for the organization- to the extent of saying things that have nothing to do with the organization. Take the Mustapha Hamid case for example. The gentleman says he is from Upper East region, Stanley Abopam comes out in the name of the organization to say HE IS NOT. Heck, what has he hailing from Upper East got to do with BONABOTO? Turns out the gentleman is from Widaana in the Upper East region. That was a mockery of us BONABOTO members spearheaded by Stanley Abopam, on our behalf. Are there not smarter people to do this PRO job than this guy? I trust there should be. If you can’t get your facts right, why go spitting lies in the name of BONABOTO? I just don’t get it. Should BONABOTO even be speaking on the behalf of Upper East? Where does that right emanate from? Even if Mustapha Hamid said he is from the BONABOTO catchment area, it is not up to BONABOTO and its loose talking PRO to come out to confirm whether he is or not. If he was for example, born, bred and buttered in Bolgatanga, and wants to identify and associate with Bolgatanga, should that even create a fuss? Who in Bolga has the right to determine whether somebody is a ‘Bolgarian” or not? BONABOTO only has the right to determine whether somebody is their member or not. And there are a lot of people hailing from those four geographic areas who don’t associate and identify with “BONABOTO” by the way. So Stanley Abopam you goofed by commenting on an issue bordering on Upper East region, and squarely goofed again when it turned out that Mustapha Hamid is indeed from Upper East region. Keep your watery mouth shut and don’t keep disgracing BONABOTO on our behalf, because some of us want to proudly associate with the organization everywhere and anywhere we go.
Is BONABOTO a powerful organization? Nope. Is it an organization made of powerful individuals? Yes. And there is truth in a weak organization having strong men. Contextually, you could use the continent of Africa as a classic example. Africa is a very rich continent with very poor people living in it. That’s how you can imagine BONABOTO. It is a very weak organisation comprised of powerful people. If you were to be told the caliber of people who make up BONABOTO, by default, your jaw will drop. The fact that my boss is a member is enough proof that BONABOTO has capable, influential, strong men. But does that make BONABOTO strong? Not at all. BONABOTO is more of that merry-making organization whom you hear of on one of these occasions: when they are having the annual FRAFRA-DAGABA games, or they are commenting on an issue that is not productive. There is no commitment on all levels of the organization- from the students’ level to the working class level to the leadership level. It’s not totally our fault anyway. Take for example somebody like me. I never heard of BONABOTO and what they have done for their so called catchment area until I got to the university. And when I got to the university and heard of BONABOTO, I have still not heard of what they have done, productively. There is no visible sign in Bolgatanga that they exist, and worst of all, no visible sign of their contribution. Where BONABOTO sat and the University for Development Studies was taken to Navrongo baffles me. And where they sat again for the region not to have a regional hospital, again baffles. There should have been somebody smarter in this orgaimg-20160107-wa0003nization to fight for it, irrespective of where it was going to be built. If not for personal strengths of people like Emmanuel Abole, I guess the University of Cape Coast satellite campus which is being built in Zuarungu, would have ended up at Navrongo, again. And instead of BONABOTO to concern themselves with important issues like these things that they have failed in, they are busying themselves with where who comes from and poking their noses into how chieftaincy should be conducted in Bolgatanga. Like I said, it’s not our fault. The spirit of “everyone for himself the devil for the last man”, which is a dominant gene in most northerners, have consummated us. And so you have rich powerful and influential people of the organization resigning to fate to help themselves and only themselves. But if there is call up to merry making like eating dog and drinking pito, you will see sponsors. That is not to say others are not trying. That will be totally unfair to my boss and a few others in the system. There are a few BONABOTO members unconsciously fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the organization in their own little way, in their own little corner. The problem is there is a greater extent of general mindset which doesn’t help us to support the course of the vision of the organization in our own individual way. Everybody thinks that one is in competition with the other and so kind of hide from responsibility to his kindred. Due to the lack of visible effort on the part of BONABOTO in prosecuting a good agenda for their so called catchment area, people are either not committed to what the organization does or not even interested in what they do. So when it comes to contributing funds, many people don’t contribute and when some even do, it is peanuts. BONABOTO runs an educational fund, and very few people are aware of it. And even with those who are aware of it, paltry tokens are given to them as sponsorships. With the formidability that BONABOTO is perceived to be, and probably wish to be, an educational support fund by it should have been a hallmark project for their so called catchment area. It should have been one fund that every needy but brilliant person can count on, fall on and be delivered to. How can a needy and brilliant student count on an organisation (which by the way is said to be influential. I still don’t know how) which gives an average 200 cedis as support? For all the problems that bedevil the so called BONABOTO catchment area in terms of health delivery, BONABOTO still doesn’t have health protocol fund? I mean for all the existence that BONABOTO has lived, it still doesn’t have some sort of a fund to fully sponsor very brilliant and very needy students who have acquired all the grades to make it to medical school? And when medical professionals from other regions are posted to BONABOTO areas and they refuse postings, BONABOTO is the first to whine and hue and cry at the same time about discrimination by such officers. What have you done to help yourselves in all these years of critical deficit in medical officers? Nothing. Absolute nothing. All we do is to complain and complain and complain.
I will pause here, for now. I am exhausting my brain cells to write a piece that will attract me more enemies than friends. But do I care!!! I wish to see BONABOTO do better with their energies than the mediocrity that we (they) are currently engaged in. This is just a scratch, it could have been worse.
God bless me, God bless you, God bless BONABOTO, God bless all Gurune people and God bless Ghana.
It has been LigriNaba, and I am out.
Dedicated to the memory of Akuripoka