Tamale residents hit streets over Maafo ethnocentric comments

Some residents of Tamale led by the Forum for Accountable Leadership this morning took to the streets of Tamale to protest what they say is a growing trend of ethnocentric pronouncements from some politicians in the country.

The residents say recent comments made by Yaw Osafo Maafo, a former Minister of State and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) if not checked could plunge the nation into chaos.

The protesters including members of the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party and the People National Congress among other political parties carried placards some of which read “Equal Rights for All, One People, One Nation, and Ghana belongs to All of Us.”

Osafo Maafo is alleged to have said in a leak tape that only five regions boast of the country’s natural resources yet the president of the country does not come from any of the regions which means they have the resources but do not have a say in how the resources are managed.

Maafo has since denied the content of the tape claiming it was doctored.

But sections of the country are not happy with the comment. A demonstration was held in Accra last week against the former Minister.

A similar demo has been held in Tamale. The residents marched through the principal streets of Tamale and finally gathered at the Tamale Jubilee park were they were addressed by the spokesperson of the group Saani Mohammed Lukman.

He said over the last four years, “we have heard derogatory comments about the residents from the north which suggested that, but for the free education policy by the Nkrumah government Northerners will have been rearing cattle”.  Saani noted.

Lukman also stated that the peace of the country should not be “compromised on the altar of political gamesmanship by any group or individuals calling on state authorities and stakeholders to be proactive in addressing the issue of religion in schools to halt the divisive political debate on [religion] and ethnicity”.

Meanwhile. the NDC in the Northern Region is asking the leadership of the NPP to compel Osafo Maafo to unreservedly withdraw or retract and apologize to the good people of the country.

In a press statement issued and signed by Abdul Mumin Alhassan Fuseini the Communication Manager of the party in the Region said the NPP can afford to downplay the peace, unity, and independence of the country because they have a history of working to undermine the great values.

He said the NDC will always unconditionally resort to any and all democratic and civilized measures to safeguard the peace and unity of this country.

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