We Want Mature Ministers Chiefs Tell Mahama

The chiefs, Imams and other opinion leaders in the three northern regions of Ghana have unanimously condemned allegation of corruption they claim was leveled against them by the Nanton MP, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed.

They have petitioned President Mahama to consider competence, experience and level-headedness in the appointment of representatives of the northern sectors to serve in government.

These submissions were contained in a press statement signed by Alhaji Hamid Alhassan for the chiefs, Islamic clerics and opinion leaders of the regions. They said it was in reaction to ‘the ill-mannered allegation made by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, also an MP for Nanton, Murtala Mohammed to the effect that northern chiefs are corruptible and are hypocrites.’

The statement said a consultative meeting of the traditional councils of all communities of the north, including chiefs, Islamic clerics, opinion leaders and the larger population, was held in the wake of the said allegation, following which they maintained, ‘We wish to state unequivocally that the chiefs, Imams and other opinion leaders in the three regions of northern Ghana are by no means corrupt as the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry seeks to portray to the Ghanaian public.’

It indicated that the chiefs and people of the three northern regions had worked tirelessly to sustain the relative peace and stability of those areas in recent years, and that they would not be drawn into any attempt by any individual who for political convenience and ambition seeks to ruin the efforts of government.

According to the statement, it was most unfortunate that a Member of Parliament who represents the people’s views in parliament and in government would cast a slur on the image and the conscience of the entire northern sectors of the country.

‘We also wish to state in no uncertain terms that at no point has any chief, Islamic cleric or opinion leader received as perceived, ‘filthy ill-gotten money’ as bribes from ministers of government or from any Member of Parliament as claimed by the Hon. Mutarla Mohammed,’ according to the statement.

The chiefs made reference to what they described as ‘the counter-productive infighting among the MPs of Tamale’ which continues to pose threats to the security of the region, and called for the appointment of more experienced and mature legislators to serve actively in government to bring unity and development to the area.

‘It is believed that had the president appointed more mature and civil representatives of the northern regions, such squabbling among the northern MPs would not tend to endanger the peace in the regions,’ the chiefs emphasised.

The Deputy Trade Minister has since apologised to the president and the people of Ghana for his outbursts.

‘I wish to render my unqualified apology to His Excellency the President. I wish also to render same to the NDC party and government, the good people of Ghana, the chiefs and religious leaders of Dagbon, as well as the chiefs and people of the Nanton Constituency whose interest I have sworn to defend,’ the statement said.

Murtala Mohammed had claimed in a radio interview that he had proof; three recorded tapes of a meeting between the said northern MP and some of the NDC Nanton constituency executives.

‘I have audios, I swear to God, I am a Muslim, a practising Muslim and I will not swear if I don’t have it,’ he stated.

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