Otiko Djaba
Otiko Djaba

Ndoo, yesterday, 29th November, 2017, I listened to the Gender minister, Miss Otiko Djaba opine on Joynews bulletin that a separate region for the Gonjaland won’t necessarily mean ethnocentrism at display. She however sought to connotatively emphise that the Gonjaland needs its own region. Really? Kaman how? If your agitation for a new region is solely based on tribal inclinations, then what do we call it?

When the Akuffo Addo led government sought to needlessly spearhead the creation of new regions, many were those who tried to let them see reasons on how it should be planned. The same thing applied to the time the now defeated NDC was in power with regards to the creation of new districts. Actually a peasant farmer like me never cared about the cost if only it was for development and progress of the Ghanaian citizenry. However, when the creation is motivated by tribal undertones as implied by Madam Otiko, then it leaves much to be addressed. This is more serious when the place in question is made up of many tribes, with each having an overlord Chief.

The Northern region is made up of more than 10 ethnic groups. Out these ethnic groups, the Mole Dagombas ( comprising Dagombas, Mamprusis and Nanumbas) constitutes a majority in terms of population. There exists the Gonjaland which has the largest land mass in the area and there are other tribes like Kokomba, Chamba, Vagala, Bimoba among the rest. I have always told my northern brothers that if the creation of a new region is to be based on tribal lines, then is better we kick against it. Yet it baffles me when the same people who think they know “book” advocate for this, purely on tribal grounds. I would urge readers to find out the genesis of this matter (see “PRO of Gonjaland youth fights plans to divide Gonjaland into two administrative regions” Www.ultimatefm.com. 16th January, 2017). What does creation of new region has to do with strenghtening the authority of a traditional ruler? In the cited news bulletin, the PRO of Gonjaland Youth Association would court us to reason with him that a separate region in which Gonjaland is divided among two administrations would lead to lost of authority of the Gonjaland chieftains. One thing for sure is that our traditional authorities existed long before the institution of regionalism in Ghana. Is it not hilarious that a modern day policy as the creation of new regions could be a threat to our chiefs?

In the north, we have always lived peacefully with each other despite the differences in our spoken languages. Why now? Ndoo, issues are like wild rabbits, they chase each other. If these vociferous indigenes of Gonjaland in the north start their agitation for a new region based on what we are seeing, where lies the other tribes? Does this not mean that other tribes should also pressure the government to give them a region? Wont this betray the constitution we all hold dear.? And those tribes that sit back waiting for the government to come out with its mapping, does it not give them out as those who don’t know their left from right? Simple, these individuals should not try to create unnecessary tension in the region by claiming that even a meter of their land won’t be added to any Eastern corridor bloc. So if all the tribes currently in the Northern region take such a shortsighted stance, where would it lead us?

In all this, one may say that yes, there is an added advantage if your tribal lands hold the seat of the region i.e capital town (cities like Tamale and Kumasi are clear examples).
. However, it is backward, illogical and a platitude of nonsense if your reason for a region is borne out of over bloated ethnocentric egos. Let us argue this our properly, my brothers. Nkrumah was partly right when he sought to remove the chieftaincy system from our modern governance system.

It would be interesting to see where these agitations would lead us. The cripple says that it begs people to raise it up so that it would see cars moving away from him, but not cars coming his way. I shall be back. Akubang?

Inusah Zanjina
Being wise is better.
[email protected]



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