Gonjaland NDC Youth Caucus Hits Back at Okyehene

The Gonjaland NDC Youth caucus has launched a scathing attack at the Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin over his recent comments alleging that President John Dramani Mahama has sidelined Akyems in his government.

The group described the comments as ethnocentric and a deliberate attempt to incite Akyems against the president and the NDC government.

In a statement signed by a four-member working committee, it outlined a number of projects Okyeman has benefitted under the NDC government and called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Akuffo Addo to admonish his tribesmen to desist from ethnocentric comments because the country cannot afford to be torn apart simply because some people are supposedly born to lead but nature decided otherwise.


The chieftaincy institution is so revered in Africa and for that matter Ghana so much so that, a Chief in a village is much more like a small god. If there is any such institution which still has the respect of the people, there is none other than the chieftaincy institution. But for whatever reasons, some of our chiefs have decided to wade into the murky waters of partisan politics thereby throwing away the very ethics and principles of this enviable institution.

We wouldn’t want to bore our readers with numerous examples of some of those statements surprisingly made by some revered chiefs some of which hold the danger of degenerating into chaos in Ghana. The Rwadan genocide didn’t start in 1994, it started decades before building up to that point where just a comment was needed to spark the fire.

These supposed ethnocentric comments didn’t start  today, even during president John Agyekum Kufuor’s regime, similar comments which nearly broke into pieces the Ashante Kingdom were made. Although the Akyems and Ashantes had that longstanding conflict as to who should dominate in the internal politics of the NPP,  It took President Kufours leadership to manage those raging sentiments.

In a durbar of chiefs at the just ended Okyeman Congress in the Akyem – Abuakwa state, the Okyehene couldn’t hide his feelings for President John Dramani Mahama. He subtly incited his people against the president and the NDC government. In his words, the Okyehene said amongst other things that, the president has sidelined the Akyems in his government and that has translated into underdevelopment in the Akyem – Abuakwa state. He emphasised that the prominent Akyem member today is unemployed, so he implored his tribesmen to consider their own blood in whatever decision they have to make today and in future. This implied in simple terms; consider your own Nana Addo first, because he is your tribe mate before all others.

We respectfully would want to remind our revered Okyehene that, an appointment into government isn’t an end in itself, if it were, the roads, water facilities, schools, markets, health facilities etc, which are springing up in the Eastern Region and for that matter the Akyem – Abuakwa state would have been done long ago when their main bread winner (Nana Addo) was a cabinet minister for seven wasted years in the erstwhile president Kufour’s government. What monumental achievement can he boast of in the Akyem – Abuakwa state with all the influence as a cabinet minister and a Member of Parliament for 12 wasted years?

We again beg to disagree with the Okyehene on his straightforward statement that “we don’t have anybody who speaks for us in this government today.” We cannot say he lied, but we respectfully beg to differ. In president John Mahama’s government,  the following from the Akyem – Abuakwa state have been appointed, unless they have not fallen in the list of his (Okyehene’s) preferred list:

  1. Hon Julius Debrah (Chief of Staff, Suhum, Akyem – Abuakwa)
  2. Hon Mrs Marrietta Brew Oppong (Minister of Justice and Attorney General,  Akwatia)
  3. H.E Victor Smith (Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Kukurantumi)
  4. Hon Ofosu Ampofo (Board Chairman, GHAPOHA)
  5. Hon Dr Apea Kubi (Board Member, ECG, Akyem-Achiase)
  6. Nana Adusei Peasah (Regional Lands Commissioner)
  7. Hon Mavis Ama Frimpong (Deputy Regional Minister,Abirem)

If appointments could translate into development by whatever definition, then the Mahama led administration can boast that the above mentioned personalities were not appointed for nothing, because they have the following to boast of as achievements under H.E John Mahama:

  1. Suhum-Amankesem road
  2. Kyebi township roads
  3. Kade township roads (ongoing)
  4. Kwafokrom-Apedwa road and it’s south bound carriageway
  5. Adomi bridge (completed)
  6. Adeise-Asamankese road
  7. Kpong water project
  8. Kyebi township water facility
  9. Begoro Central Market (completed)
  10. New-Tafo township roads

The above mentioned are but a few. These have not taken into account the numerous health facilities and classroom blocks across the length and breadth of the Eastern Region of which the Akyem – Abuakwa state is a part of. This does not also include the Community Day Senior High Schools that the region has including the Akyem – Abuakwa state, not even the over 100 communities which have been connected to the national grid, not the proposed University for the only region left to have a public university (Eastern Region).

We respect, revere and adore our chieftaincy institution in Gonjaland so much so that, we never for once pray that it should dip it’s image so deep into partisan politics, because that is the last institution standing to ensure peaceful coexistence if all others should fail.

Interestingly this unfortunate ethnocentric comments didn’t come in isolation. We recall somewhere 2015, Hon Yaw Osarfo Marfo made these same unfortunate comments. In his stead, he didn’t understand why President Mahama should be allowed to rule this country when indeed his region neither produced gold nor cocoa. It simply meant that,  Dr Mahmoud Bawumia,  the two times defeated running mate of the NPP has no business seeking to lead the NPP and for that matter Ghana, since he is equally from the “empty” northern region where President Mahama comes from. This was not only unfortunate, but had the tendency of sparking chaos. Sadly, these same chiefs from the Akyem – Abuakwa at one point had a ceremony where libation was poured, calling on the ancestors of the land to make Nana Addo a president at all cost. So we feel that, the most recent statement by the Okyehene is just but emphasis drawing its spirit and guide from the aforementioned instances.

It is worthy to note that, if appointments meant anything to a group of people in Ghana, then, the very land the president was born into would have lost its voice out of incessant cries. That very land H.E president John Dramani Mahama was born, bathed in our steams and drank from our pot and calabash, today can’t boast of a single cabinet minister, but Mrs Marrietta Brew Oppong is a cabinet minister from Akwatia in the Akyem – Abuakwa land. Should we tear the president apart because his own clansmen do not sit side – by – side with him during decision making in cabinet? Would it be justified for us to also say we don’t have a voice in the Mahama led government? But in the midst of all these, we can still boast of development projects across the length and breadth of Gonjaland, not to mention the Fufulso-Damongo-Sawla road among others.

In conclusion, we call on Nana Addo to admonish his tribesmen to desist from ethnocentric comments because Ghana cannot afford to be torn apart simply because some people are supposedly born to lead but nature decided otherwise.

God Bless Our Homeland, Ghana.

Thank you

Working committee:

Issifu Seidu Kudus (0244198031)

Rauf Adam              (0243084110)

Don Haruna Nnibo (0205521261)

Emmanuella Musah (0244051992)