By Cecil Mensah
Article 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution says “a person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour ethnic origin, creed or social or economic status”
This was the basis a group calling itself, Coalition for the Defence of Equal Citizenry (CODEC) used to denounce the tribal intolerance of the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo at an New Patriotic Party (NPP) strategic meeting in the Eastern Region.
Speaking at a maiden press conference in Accra and to announce a demonstration for March 4, 2015, against the statement, convener for the group, Mr Godwin Edudzi Tameklo, said for many years, leading members of the NPP, have acted and spoken in ways that have the potential of eroding all the gains made to forge a nation,
despite the country’s diversity.
He said, the group was aware of a tape recording in which Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, a leading member of the NPP was clearly heard at a meeting making extremely incendiary and ethically divisive comments regarding the party’s fortunes in the 2016 election.
He explained that for the avoidance of doubt, the said meeting was held on January 29, 2015 at Oyinka Hotel at Effiduase, Koforidua.
According to him, the following party stalwarts were at the meeting Kiston Akuming Kissi, the Regional Chairman, Alhaji Umar Bodinga, the First Vice chairman, Prince Aboagye, the Regional Secretary, Nana Yaw Papin, the assistant Regional secretary, Alecs Agobo, former Regional secretary and two representatives from the
thirty three Constituencies in the region.
He said, Mr Osafo Marfo, was heard claiming that the leaders of Ghana must only be drawn from five Akan-speaking regions.
According to Osafo Marfo, the Akan speaking regions represent eighty- six percent of where the country’s mineral resources are located.
Mr Marfo, among other things claimed that Gas and Ewes are the same in terms of their voting patterns, hence would vote against the NPP irrespective of the candidate presented, he added.
“We are totally astonished that Mr Marfo’s decades of public service and considerable exposure failed to instill in him the necessary spirit of nationalism and appreciation of the contributions of all Ghanaians towards the development of our country.
We are further amazed that in the 21 century when many nations are making progress a man of Mr Marfo’s caliber should demonstrate such close mindedness on the criteria for selecting Ghana’s leaders” ,he posited.
He maintained that the comments represent a major setback to the efforts made by the country’s forebear and the current generation of Ghanaians to build a country in which tolerance, unity togetherness and respect for diversity.
He said, the actions of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Oda Constituency in the Eastern Region, bring back bitter memories of the activities of the dreaded parent party of the NPP, the National Liberation Movement (NLM), which used a campaign of terror to prosecute an ethnic secessionist agenda against the Kwame Nkrumah led Convention People’s Party (CPP) administration in the early sixties.
He said, the misdeeds of the NLM continue to be justified by its apologists on the basis of the same arguments put forward by Marfo on the tape that those Akan areas
possessing majority of the country’s resources, ought to have a dominant role in national leadership.