wpid-President-John-Dramani-Mahama.jpgBy Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

My good friends, there is no gainsaying the fact that much water has passed under the bridge that President Mahama has erected for improving conditions in Northern Ghana (let alone the entire country).

His decision to establish the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) came across to us all as a laudable initiative to bridge the gap between the North and the South in terms of practical action to solve the problems that have forced our compatriots to migrate from the north to the south in chase of non-existent jobs.

Those of us who are familiar with the plight of those migrants can testify that their condition of existence in their communities is nothing to write home about.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to be in Northern Ghana, the Upper East, and beyond and can say much about the abject state of privations and abjection there.

That was the time when many Northerners were in Rawlings government but didn’t make their influence felt.

Now, President Mahama has risen to the pinnacle to use the enormous powers at his disposal to tilt the balance. Unfortunately, though, nothing seems to be changing for the good of his own people.

It must be placed on record that our compatriots of Northern Ghana extraction are endowed with natural abilities that every sane human being will envy. So, why should it be that their access to the national resources should be hindered to make them come across as second-class citizens? Unacceptable!!

Forget about the so-called claim that the Nkrumah government institutionalized the Northern Scholarship Scheme that has benefited them. And that anybody not able to move up the ladder in education must be lazy. It’s not everybody who is intellectually endowed to go for higher education or to even consider higher education as the panacea to personal or existential problems.

Those who value formal education will go for it; but formal education doesn’t solve all problems. That’s why not all will want to go for it. Some have chosen informal education and are better off, at least, in their own considerations vis-a-vis the kind of progress that they have made to live their lives to the full.

Beyond these considerations comes the good intentions of President Mahama to uplift standards in his own backyard, being a Northerner himself and conversant with the undermining and underprivileging of his own people. No malice aforethought here.

But the truth is that the projects that he caused to be established to open up the north and carve a niche for him as someone interested in moving that part of the country forward are not solving problems. They are worsening existing problems or creating new ones that are fast detracting from his worth. Can he not know?

Precedent: Dr. Hilla Limann had been in office in 1979 to 1981 and cannot today be accredited with anything that he attempted for the good of northern Ghana.

President Mahama is now trying to prove his worth; but the malfeasance that has characterized the operations of SADA and any other initiative has dimmed his light.

What is he doing to reverse this negative trend and prove that he is, indeed, interested in making the difference?

When the day of reckoning comes, can he genuinely tell us what he has done to bridge the gap between Northern Ghana and the South? I leave it to him to contemplate as the NPP harps on its choice of Paul Afoko (NPP Chairman) to doom him in future elections.

I have, by this post, thrown a huge challenge to President Mahama to be up and doing. If for nothing at all, I want him to initiate moves for which he will be remembered (even by his own people).

I wish that by now, he would have adopted a community or two in Northern Ghana to pump resources into so that it could become a model to be admired and upheld as his legacy. Is there anything blinding him to such possibilities?

There is nothing wrong with beginning from the North. After all, charity begins at home!!

Nothing but the coterie of sycophants that he has surrounded himself with will prevent him from taking such a step. The bitter truth, though, is that leaders are admired for what they leave behind as monuments and not how much empty noise they can make while in power.

The truth needs to be told that life is transient. A good leader will want to do something for which he will be remembered long after his death.

I challenge President Mahama to take up this challenge to make the difference. Even if his predecessor (Dr. Limann) didn’t do anything of the sort, he should. Will he take up the challenge?

I shall return?

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