Did you know Upper West, Upper East and Northern region accounts for 40% of Ghana’s poverty? (Ghana Statistical Service)
A story is told of 10 siblings, seven of whom were boys. The boys were always favored by the father because they were just that, boys. He enrolled them in school and provided all their needs but relegated the 3 girls to house keeping and cooking.
Somtimes the father would take the boys to lunch at nice restaurants during break and would bring only the leftovers home to the girls.
They were so sad they couldn’t go to school or enjoy the nice treats their father gave their Male siblings, so they deviced a plan….
While the father laid on the floor in agony, the girls yelled: “See father, we have the antidote to the poison, Send us to school or die a coward……”
which option do you think the father chose? Your guess is as good as mine.
To begin with, no one deserves to be poor in a country that is blessed with so much resource. Albeit slow, our growth as a nation has been disproportional right from the colonial era through the period as a young independent nation to the 61 year old Ghana we see today. Our growth curve is skewed sharply towards the south and this has resulted in a massive deficit in infrastructure, education, business and the health sector in the three Northern regions as compared to their southern brothers. This in turn has devastated the regions economically, leading to a mass exodus of Northners down south to seek menial jobs in order to have a chance at the better economic freedom enjoyed in the South.
One would ask how this came to be when the North is known to have enormous man power, dexterity and academic prowess that have worked hard since time immemorial to keep food on the tables of Ghanaians and indeed other nations, head powerful institutions and steered so much development in all areas but their own motherland.
John Dramani Mahama, Dr. Hilla Liman, Dr. Aliu Mahama, Dr. Bawumia, Alban Bagbin, Joseph Yileh Chireh among others have all risen to the highest seat of our land and other higher positions, which could have been used to propel radical change in the developmental situation of the North but what do we see, scraps and surpluses realised after the south’s belly are full is what is thrown on the ground for us to fight over.
The issue transcends politics, it is almost as if it’s a national policy to exclude the regions from any development as successive governments have consistently neglected the Northern plight and the best any has done proved to be inept and indeed an excuse of an effort at bridging the ever-widening gap.
The underdevelopment of the north is not a quagmire but one that requires a will to stop promising and actually do something. It is high time we the youth arose with same exuberance used in engaging in unproductive violent activities in the name of tribalism and politics against the politicians NPP, NDC, CPP, PNC or whoever to demand our fair and equitable share of the national cake.
It is said that one deserves what they accept, the north doesn’t deserve the extreme poverty that’s vividly evident and plaguing them like a chronic disease, so why are they quiet?, why are they not on the streets demanding what is rightly deserved?, why are our leaders okay with the peanuts the 3 regions get?, who is going to talk for the North? Who’s willing to listen?
We know what the North is capable of, we’re just not angry enough.