A Gonja from Bole based in the United Kingdom Dr Sheriff Adam has expressed surprise why President Nana Akufo-Addo is livid over the reference to his good self and some of his townsfolk as ‘Akyem Mafia’ and ‘Sakawa’ people by Hon Isaac Adongo (MP).
Dr Adam said even though the President knew the tag of “Gonja Mafias” was popularized in NPP quarters over which he presided despite the fact that there was no “tightly knit group” of Gonjas (or a “mafia”) around former President John Dramani Mahama.
In an open letter sighted by Bole based Nkilgi Dr Adam said; “Mr President, were you not in Ghana when the term “Gonja Mafias” was coined, popularized and hurled into the Ghanaian political space? While I cannot argue that the author of the said article is loyal to you personally, and your party in general, I can say with some degree of confidence that it would have been nice for the then-candidate Akuffo Addo to have condemned in no uncertain terms the ‘ethnocentric tagging’ of the Gonja people. Similarly, it would have been nice for the then-candidate Akuffo Addo to have used one of those engagements he had with the clergy to make the point that ‘that is the kind of language we don’t want in our politics’ and that call would have resonated with the consciences of the thousands of Gonjas who resented that tagging”.
Dr Sheriff Adam said the silence of President Akufo-Addo over the tagging of Gonjas as “mafias” was rather deafening.
“Like Madam Elizabeth Ohene in her recent remonstrations of Civil Society Organizations, I put it to you that you were silent then because the shoe was on the other foot. And that is where the inconsistency and double standards lie”; Dr Adam said.
According to the UK based Bole man Gonjas were tagged as “mafias” during President John Mahama’s time and that he know President Akufo-Addo was fully aware that unlike many other tribes in Ghana that can be argued to largely affiliate with a political party, Gonjas generally do not have strong loyalties to any party in Ghana.
“Gonjas go with whoever comes with policies and programmes that aim to deliver us from the shackles of Ghana’s most insidious enemy: poverty!!!”; and that is why with His Excellency John Mahama (a Gonja) as the candidate and leader of the NDC in the 2016 elections, you (President Akufo-Addo) garnered a significant 20% of the votes cast in John Mahama’s Bole backyard”; Dr Adam said.
Dr Adam Sheriff also explained that Gonjas are so politically open-minded that they allowed President Akufo-Addo to effectively “infiltrate our camp in Bole to plant the seeds of dissent and division in our highly venerated chieftaincy institution”.
He said until some weeks ago, Bole was effectively acephalous and the institution of chieftaincy in Bole remained a poisoned chalice because of the President Akufo-Addo’s clandestine political machinations.
“We are so politically open-minded that you will find that the most vociferous critics of John Mahama are not just Gonjas, but Gonjas from Bole. Like many other tribes in Ghana, we are so politically open-minded that you will find that our political loyalties are embedded within all major political parties in Ghana.
“That is how we produced (in no particular order) the likes of His Excellency John Mahama (NDC – needs no introduction); Dr Abu Sakara Foster (CPP – Presidential candidate); the late Prof Yakubu Saaka (PNC- presidential candidate); the late J.A. Braimah (NPP- a leading member who fought assiduously for the Danquah-Busiah tradition to gain considerable traction in Northern Ghana); Madam Otiko Djaba (NPP – who put behind blood relations with John Mahama to fight him at every given opportunity) and Hon Saddick Boniface (NPP – a fine politician and a gentleman par excellence); – Many countless other politicians whose loyalties cut across political divides”; the UK based man from Bole said.
Dr Sheeiff Adam said; “Mr President, this leads me to the conclusion that while it is not a tit for tat game, ‘abaa a yɛde bɔ Takyi no yɛde bɛbɔ Baa’. If you had called your ‘boys’ to order then, I’m sure we wouldn’t have been having this conversation today
“Unfortunately, it looks like you will have to ‘manage’ with that ‘Akyem mafia’ and Akyem ‘Sakawa’ tag for a while if not for anything but for the fact that ‘bɔɔfrɛ a ɛyɛ dɛ na abaa da aseɛ’.