By Gifty Arthur
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Zabzugu in the Northern Region, Umar Alhassan, has blown the cover of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), claiming it is selling subsidized fertilizer to only members of the governing party.
He said, agric officers who are mandated to sell the fertilizer, have been relegated to the background and replaced with NPP party apparatchiks, who are discriminating against farmers perceived to be non-NPP.
Referring to the NPP he said “They have usurped the work of the agric workers, they have sacked the agric workers”.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator, the several bags of fertilizer which is needed for farming, especially during this farming season, have been locked up by the NPP party folks and disbursed only when party members or supporters are around to purchase.
The MP said this on TV3’s Newsday programme during discussion on claims by the Food and Agriculture Minister, Owusu Afriyie Akoto that, the invasion of the fall armyworm has been curtailed.
Umar Alhassan said, the NPP, especially in his Constituency, has taken the fertilizer as party property and so it is treated as though it was sent by President Akufo-Addo or the NPP, to be sold to its members citing it, as the reason why they are denying non-party members.
“Well, they take it that it’s a party thing, the fertilizer was sent down or the president or NPP sent the fertilizer to be distributed among their farmers…. So if you are not a [card] bearing party member, they won’t sell it to you. So they sell it among themselves and this is not mischief”, he alleged.
The first time legislator said, report has been made to authorities, including the Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, whom he is expecting to do something about the situation.
“Yes I did, I contacted the Regional Minister, I sent them report to make sure they intervene”, he told host, Bright Nana Amfo, when he asked him what he did about the illegality as a lawmaker, when it was brought to his attention.
The MP, who was recently cleared by the court on claim of possessing dual citizen said, effort was made to contact the agric personnel in the Zabzugu Constituency, but nothing fruitful came out of it.
According to him, the officers were helpless and frustrated when he contacted them and so there was no way they could assist the other farmers.
“Then I also made sure that contacted the agric personnel in Zabzugu and they were frustrated because the party people were there to make that sure that whatever they were doing were frustrated, they will not allow them to act”, he said.
A member of the NPP’s Communication team and lawyer, Gary Nimako Marfo, said though he could not ascertain the authenticity of the claim made by the MP, if it was true, then the attention of the authorities, will have to be drawn, so that the issue could be resolved.
According to Gary, there is no deliberate plan by the Akufo-Addo government to deprive any Ghanaian opportunities and resources of the country.
“And also on your fertilizer matter, if indeed is true, I can’t say is true or false because I have no idea what he is talking about, [but] if it’s true, I think that they are also relevant matter, because food security everywhere, is food security for all Ghanaians, that’s the bottom line.
I do not think that, there will be a conscious effort by anybody in this government to say that, well this area is an NDC prone area and, therefore, let stifle them of development or food or anything, nobody can do that.
We have to look at the person leading the party, the leader of the nation, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he would not encourage this thing going on”.
The lawyer in a friendly manner, told the MP “If these things are true, kindly report to relevant authorities, obviously it will come up and then they will know”.
“I mean we are human beings, people may decide that well they can go round the system and do certain things which are not proper, but now as you are saying the Regional Minister is aware, but there can be no conscious effort by this government to deprive any citizen of Ghana food or anything of development, because the person is NDC or anything, is not possible”.