PAD 95.1 news, Damongo 22-05-2020
By: Richard B. Forgor
The ruling New Patriotic Party in the Savannah region has described a petition presented by the opposition National Democratic Congress in the region to the Overlord of Gonja, his Majesty Tuntumba Boressah to get him intervene in the incarceration of a former deputy national security coordinator of the John Dramani Mahama government as misplaced and highly mischievous.
At a press conference addressed by the Deputy regional communications director Mr Fredrick Tahiru, the NPP said the NDC sought to twist issues as if it was President Akufo-Addo who jailed Alhaji Salifu Osman knowing fully well the president has no control, influence or authority over the courts of Ghana.
Alhaji Salifu Osman was found guilty and jailed with two others by an Accra High Court for conspiracy to willfully causing financial loss to the state.
To seek justice for their colleague, the NDC in a petition to the Yagbonwura described the jailing of Alhaji Osman as politically motivated.
Mr.Malik Basintale, the Savannah Regional Communications Officer of the NDC who presented the petition noted that the decision to incarcerate the revered chief was without recourse to the customs, norms and traditions of society.
The NDC spokesman pressed on Yagbonwura to demand answers from President Akufo-Addo as to why he disregarded the tradition of Gonjaland to the convenience of politics.
The NDC further pointed to the continuous neglect and disregard for the people of the Savannah Region in the sharing of the national cake by the Akufo-Addo led NPP government.
But in a reaction, the NPP said the action to draw the office of the Yagbonwura into the issue will open the doors to other Ghanaians to run for refuge in palaces of their chiefs when the laws of the land catch up with them.
Mr Fredric Tahiru in the statement noted that a “convicted Asante would seek the intervention of the Asantehene to be pardoned, a convicted Dagomba will run to the Yaa Naa for pardon” if what the NDC is promoting is encouraged.
Mr. Tahiru accused the NDC Communications Officer of being exceedingly divisive, highly tribalistic with the tendency of creating chaos in the Savannah region and urged them to turn to the courts for redress.
Responding to NDC’s accusations of neglect of the region by the Akuffo Addo led government, the NPP reminded the NDC that it was President Akuffo Addo created the Savannah region in the first place.
Mr Tahiru said two district hospitals and a regional hospital will be constructed by the government contrary to claims the region has been excluded.
He called on the people of the region to disregard the “childish and immature allegations of the NDC and embrace the NPP’s program for development and progress” for the Savannah region.
Below is the full statement
PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE SAVANNAH REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE, (NPP), IN RESPONSE TO THE SAVANNAH REGIONAL NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS’ (NDC) SHAMEFUL AND INFANTILE PETITION TO THE OVERLORD OF THE GONJA KINGDOM, HIS MAJESTY YAGBONWURA TUMTUMBA BORESA JAKPA I
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Savannah Region welcomes our hardworking members of the media to today’s Press Conference. We are very grateful for your prompt response to our invitation.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, we have invited you to this press conference to enable us address a bizarre and shameful situation in the Savannah Region. Politics is serious business. Politics affects the livelihood of citizens, particularly the underprivileged, poor and vulnerable in society. Therefore, political discourse must be approached with honesty and seriousness.
Ladies and Gentlemen, by a Petition under the hand of one Malik Basintale, National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Savannah Regional Communication Officer, the NDC in Savannah Region complained to the Overlord of Gonjaland about the lawful conviction of Alhaji Osman Mimina Salifu, former Deputy National Security Coordinator in the erstwhile John Mahama Government.
Secondly, the NDC also complained about the so called exclusion of the Savannah Region from the Akufo-Addo Government’s policy to build a District Hospital in every administrative district of Ghana. Incidentally, the said Petition was not dated.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the NPP wishes to respond to the two (2) complaints as follows;
- Alhaji Osman Mimina Salifu was a Deputy National Security Coordinator of the John Mahama Government. Investigations into his role in the purchase of equipment in collaboration with the National Communication Authority (NCA) were conducted in line with the laws of the republic of Ghana. Alhaji Salifu was arraigned before a High Court of competent jurisdiction presided over by His Lordship Justice Kyei Baffour, tried in accordance with the criminal laws of Ghana. Alhaji Salifu was afforded all the opportunities under the laws of our country and he fully defended himself. At the end of the criminal trial, Alhaji Salifu was found guilty of the charges of conspiracy to wilfully causing financial loss to the state in contravention of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 921) and intentionally misapplying public property. Our brother Alhaji Salifu unfortunately could not run away from the long arm of the law and has been handed a jail term of five (5) years.
Firstly, we as members of the NPP in the region do not intend to join the drama of our brothers from the NDC except to sympathise with Alhaji Salifu. The NDC sought to twist issues as if it was President Akufo-Addo who jailed Alhaji Salifu knowing full well that President Akufo Addo has absolutely no control, influence or authority over the courts of Ghana.
The action by the NDC to draw the office of his Royal Majesty of Gonjaland Yagbonwura Tumtumba Boresa Jakpa I into the issue is misplaced, highly mischievous and will open the doors to other Ghanaians to run for refuge in palaces of our revered chiefs when the laws of the land catch up with them. For instance, a convicted Asante would seek the intervention of the Asantehene to be pardoned; similarly, a convicted Dagomba will run to the Yaa Naa for pardon etc.
Clearly, this act by the NDC, led by an inexperienced Regional Communication Officer, Mr. Basintale, who failed to appreciate the complexities and nature of this matter is exceedingly divisive, highly tribalistic and has the tendency of creating chaos in a young united Savannah Region.
At this trying period, we of the NPP in the region are with Alhaji Salifu Mimina in prayer. All is not lost, he has the right of appeal and we urge that he exercises that right.
- The claim by the NDC that Savannah Region was excluded from the District Hospitals Programme of the Akufo-Addo Government is completely false. Indeed, Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the letter issued by the Hon. Minister for Local Government and Rural Development has Savannah Region as part of this Programme. Savannah Region will benefit from two (2) District Hospitals and One (1) Regional Hospital.
The two (2) District Hospitals will be situated in Daboya, the Capital of the North Gonja District and Kpalbe, the Capital of the North East Gonja District. The Regional Hospital will be situated in Damongo, the Capital of the Savannah Region. With the construction of these hospitals, all the seven (7) districts in the Savannah Region will have District Hospitals. This desperate claim also fails in the face of the evidence before us.
Ladies and Gentlemen, increasingly, the Savannah Regional NDC is allowing itself to be transformed into a laughing stock by the immaturity of their Communication Officer, Mr.Basintale. Inspite of our differences with the NDC, we acknowledge that there are some serious minded persons who are members of the Party and the situation where the childishness of Mr.Basintale is allowed to be the norm for the NDC is a very unfortunate circumstance. Unguided and unwise youthful exuberance is leading Mr.Basintale wayward and the earlier he is called to order by the elders of the NDC, the better for our Region. The embarrassment he is causing the Savannah Region is getting out of hand.
Ladies and Gentlemen, President Akufo-Addo created the Savannah Region. President Akufo-Addo created the North East Gonja District with Kpalbe as its capital. President Akufo-Addo will build two (2) District Hospitals in the Savannah Region. President Akufo-Addo will build a state of the art, ultra-modern and brand new Regional Hospital in Damongo to serve as a referral centre for the dignified people of Savannah Region. President Akufo-Addo has brought development and progress to the Savannah Region. The good people of the Savannah Region are tired of the incompetence, cheap tribal politics, propaganda and corruption of the NDC. The NDC in the Savannah Region has enjoyed the support of the people but has given them very little in return.
The Savannah NDC had the highest political power and authority of our country but did very little for our Region. It took President Akufo-Addo from far away Kyebi, in the Eastern Region, to create a Region for Gonjas and others in the Savannah Region after years of agitation. Our people are tired of cheap tribal politics and propaganda.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the NPP calls on each and every one of us to disregard these childish, immature and senseless allegations of the NDC and embrace the NPP’s program for development and progress for the people of the Savannah Region.
We are confident and certain that our revered and distinguish Overlord, Yagbonwura Tumtumba Boresa Jakpa I, wise and great as he is, will not give any attention to these shameful and infantile claims by the NDC. Savannah Regional politics should be a serious enterprise and the NPP assures the good people of our beloved Region that it will play a constructive role in the development and progress of our society. Tribal and low grade politics is over, now and forever.
God bless Gonjaland and its Overlord.
God bless the Savannah Region.
God bless the New Patriotic Party and Ghana.
Regional Communications Directorate, NPP
22nd May, 2020