By Cecil Mensah
The leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has called on the leadership of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to reprimand the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Osafo Marfo, for his incendiary and ethnically divisive comments regarding the fortunes of his party going into the 2016 elections.
The NDC says, if the NPP fails to take a decision on Marfo’s divisive tape, like it did to the divisive statements of Kennedy Agyepong, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region; where he called for the killing of Gas and Ewes.
The former Member of Parliament for Akim Odaa Constituency in the Eastern Region, last week was captured on a secret tape, saying that only persons from the five Akan-speaking regions who contribute eighty -six percent of the country’s mineral resources, should have the opportunity to lead the country.
The NPP’s leading figure was speaking at a strategic meeting of the party, where he was heard making the divisive statement about some ethnic groups in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Fred Agbenyo, the Deputy Director of Communications of the NDC, joined by the National Organizer, Kofi Adams, his Deputy and the Deputy General Secretary, Mr George Lawson, said the contents are a worrying development that requires a strong national response.
As a national party, which makes inclusion and unity the bedrock of its political mobilization, the NDC has unreservedly condemned the extreme form of tribal bigotry exhibited by Mr Marfo.
We urged all Ghanaians irrespective of their tribe, ethnicity or background to join to us condemn these unfortunate ethically biased outbursts.
Mr Agbenyo stressed that the NDC is utterly dismayed that in spite of the years of education, exposure and experience, Mr Marfo would hold such primitive views about
national leadership and proceed to make comments that have the potential to tear apart the very fabric that bind the country together as one people with a common a destiny.
He said these comments represent a major setback to efforts made by the forebear and current generation of Ghanaians to build a country in which tolerance; unity; togetherness and respect for diversity exist.
These comments evoke 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 late Dr Kwame Nkrumah led Convention People’s Party government.
He said, the misdeeds of the NLM were and continues to be justified by its apologists on the basis of the same arguments made by Mr Marfo on the tape that Akans areas posses’ majority of the country’s resources and ought have dominated national leadership.
Mr Agbenyo, said the chaos and unrest that this deeply flawed, which stance spans as far back as in the 1950s, should leave no decent minded Ghanaians in doubt about the inherent danger in the Mr Marfo tape.
He explained that the NDC rejects every notion that the leadership of the country is the birthright or preserve of a pre ordained elites belonging to a particular ethnic group and hails from a particular region.
“We remain totally committed to the principle of equity and fairness in the extension of opportunities to the people to aspire to the leadership of the country irrespective of their ethnic background” he argued.
He added that Mr Marfo’s attempt to justify bigotry and the denial of non Akans their right to aspire to the leadership of the country on a flawed premise that they (NPP) come from a regions with more resources is the latest installment in the list of irresponsible ethnocentric comments that have emerged from the camp of the NPP.
He called on civil society groups, who are silent when members of the NPP misconduct themselves, to speak out against Mr Marfo’s comments.