What is the story so far? The story is short; Savannah Accelerated Development Authourity (SADA) has failed.
I make a passionate call to northern youth and indeed all willing youth in the country, to take part in this call for the investigation and subsequent prosecution against the cursed men who decided that the northern share of the national cake that has eluded them, since the Whiteman set foot on this land, becomes their cash cow.
God knows best, but this is a true call and the type every well-meaning Ghanaian should endeavor for—where the people are clearly defined, they are thieves’, heartless people and mischief makers, who were only interested in their well-being.
The conduct of the mangers of SADA, the Board Chairman, Alhassan Andani, who is also the Managing Director (MD) of Stanbic Bank and Gilbert Iddi, former Northern Regional Minister and former MD of SADA, has been disappointing at the least and betraying-treacherous, conservatively described.
A programme hatched out of good intention to try and bridge the development gap, between the South and the North, became the money making avenue for some people.
In the run-up to the 2008 elections, the National Democratic Congress, led by the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, promised the people of the north that should they get the Presidency, an Authourity christened SADA, will be set up to ease the endemic poverty that has become their bane.
I saw the promise as a furtherance of what President Jerry John Rawlings had done for the people of the North, the reason for which they adore and admire him. So which political party is best placed to serve their interest that the party they love so much, the NDC.
Interestingly, the sad aspect of it is that all the people who were supposed to superintendent over the Authourity are all people of Northern extraction. They did not, at the end of it only fail their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, but most especially, President John Dramani Mahama, who is also a northerner and very passionate about the region.
An opportunity to serve one’s people must be seen as a calling from God, it is like being a Minister of God, who becomes a vessel for the salvation of people. Unfortunately, with the case of SADA, the leaders looked sheepishly and with wicked intentions the faces of their kith and kings and stole what belonged to them.
There is no sufficient explanation for the way and manner SADA monies were used. The investment that the monies were put to defies every business logic.
What is the return on investment, when you plant trees in the dry season, and what is the benefit to a group of people, when a Guinea Fowl project is not spread among them, but rather a company was contracted to rear them?
What possibly could inform managers of the SADA monies to contract a Consultant and pay him GH¢20,000 on a monthly basis, when this amount is more than enough to cater for the investment needs of a village up north.
If it was their money, is this the best way to dispense it?
The Consultant, who himself is a northerner, is as callous and insensitive as the people who sat and came to the conclusion that the Consultant deserved such a whopping and outrageous amount. Wouldn’t it have served the purpose for which SADA was established for him to have simply said, I don’t need the money, let add my fees to the money that is going to the people.
Public service is now alien in this country, and for people who in their upbringing were thought to be each other’s keeper.
The purpose and intention of SADA, is to alleviate poverty among the people of Northern extraction and so it stands to reason that every programme that was going to be rolled out, will be done with the full participation of the people. As things stand now, it looks as though a group of people decided to feed fat on what belonged to all.
May people will give anything, just to get this rare opportunity given to these personalities to serve the people, so that when the story of the Northern Region is written twenty, thirty or fifty years from now, they will be mentioned as the people who were instrumental in uplifting the living standard of the people in the Region.
Instead they missed the opportunity, because they could not put the interest of the generality of the people above theirs.
Somebody could argue that the personalities involved did not benefit directly financially, but we were in this country when people were incarcerated for causing financial loss to the state. If you read the judgement giving by the Judges, it was stated that although they did not benefit financially, their actions caused the state to lose money.
So before anybody comes to the defense of these people, let it be said that their actions has caused an irreparable damage to the survival of the people of the north.
Imagine the opposition that will arise should the Government decide to inject additional money into SADA.
The President, whose trust has been betrayed by these reckless lots, must show leadership by example. It is difficult to take any action against the individuals involved because, they are his friends, some are his school mates, but he still need to let the axe fall, regardless of whose axe is gored.
If they did not think about his friendship with them and had actually gone out to disgrace him, I don’t think it will be prudent for him to shield them.
If they mismanage without thinking, the President should also take action without thinking about the relationship.
Abdul Razak Bawa