?He is not welcome in Wa again
The Waala, one of the dominant and influential ethnic groups in the Upper West Region have dared President John Dramani Mahama to stay away from their stronghold of the regional capital, Wa or face embarrassment and humiliation he has never seen before in his entire political career.
According to them, the President and his retinue will not be welcome for any gathering in the region including the forthcoming electioneering campaign that he will use to seek a re-election in December 2016. They said the President would have a shock of his life if he sets his foot in the region because they will boycott him and his entourage.
?We have told all our people in Wa and its environs and also those in the diaspora that nobody should come out anytime the President comes here. We have to show him that we are angry with the manner he is handling our affairs as a people.
?Boycotting him and his campaign is the first logical step before even the 2016 elections when we would vote against him.
Make no mistake, we have the numbers. There are several hundreds of thousands of Waalas across the country in the Zongo areas, we have spoken to them and they are all angry with the conduct of the President and his advisers on this issue? an aggrieved Wala elder told The aL-hAJJ on condition of anonymity.
A statement earlier from a concern Waala Youth Association on the conduct of the just-ended NDC regional executive elections which was corroborated by some elders of the party in the municipality summed up the brewing tension between the majority Dagaabas and the Waalas who are the influential groups of the region, despite their numerical disadvantage.
While the Waalas have over the years dominated the political control of the region, the jinx was broken in the last regional elections of the ruling party in which the 22 year reign of a Wala-born regional Chairman, Alhaji Malik Issahak was ended by a 59 year old Dagarti farmer and businessman, Mathew Song Aabo.
Alhaji Malik Issahak?s excruciating defeat, according to the Waalas, was orchestrated by some influential Dagaabas in the Mahama government led by Cabinet Secretary, in order to relegate Waalas to the background, a charge Mr. Roger Ansonmwini has vehemently denied, in an interview with The aL-hAJJ.
Alhaji Malik, who is one of the richest and influential sons of the region and has worked over the years under Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu to help NDC take control of the region, accused President Mahama and Roger of being the main mastermind behind his defeat.
He believes his support for Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu to be the running mate of former President Mills in the run up to the 2008 elections could be the reason the president doesn?t like him.
Alhaji Malik said President Mahama refused to meet with him as chairman of the party in the region during his last visit to the Upper West regional capital. According to the beleaguered former chairman, the president met everybody who matters in the region, yet when it came to his turn President Mahama said ?he is sorry he is in hurry so we should meet in Accra.?
Aside Mr Roger Ansonmwini, the Concern Waala Youth Association also blamed two former Deputy Upper West Regional Ministers, Abu Kabiabata Kasangbata (aka KK), Kale Caesar and Dr Edward Dery of the PNC, for supporting the Dagaaba supremacy agenda.
But, in a sharp riposte, Mr Ansonmwini, the Secretary to Cabinet in an interview with The aL-hAJJ rebuffed all the allegations, saying he never plotted with any person or group of persons to work against the Waalas.
He said he had also heard all kinds of wild allegations against his person in particular among which is that, he and other senior Dagaaba NDC members distributed plasma TVs to the delegates on the eve of the Upper West regional elections of the ruling party two weeks ago.
According to Roger, as he is popularly called; ?If I have those kinds of resources?, and now that am due to go on pension; I?ll rather use them in my retirement. I am a public servant, am not a politician to be meddling in any party?s internal politics,? he stated.
But, a Dagarti senior member of the Mahama government who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity appealed to President Mahama and the leadership of the NDC to handle the issue with tact otherwise the problem can degenerate and create serious divisions and crisis not only in the party, but the region as a whole.
?It is true that there is tension between the two ethnic groups, and if care is not taken, the party in the region will collapse on our heads,? he said.
Another source further told The aL-hAJJ that ?yes, is true the Dagaabas are in the majority controlling between 60-65 per cent of the region?s population, but the Waalas are the most affluent and the most influential group in the region having taken control of the region?s commerce and business since time immemorial. Over the years they have used their financial strength to wrestle the region for the NDC.
?But the Dagaabas, who also have the numbers and have also been loyal to the NDC by actually doing the voting and ensuring that the NDC gets the numbers is also now saying they have to take over the structures of the party in the region from the Waalas since they have the numbers.
?They do not understand why the key party positions in the region were going to the Waalas who are the minority while they the majority are sidelined.
?So, in the just-ended regional NDC executive elections, the Dagaabas, to the consternation of the Walas worked and actually succeeded in taking over almost all the important positions in the party within the region and relegated the Waalas to just two deputy positions,? the source revealed.
According to the press statement from the Waala youth, ?before the elections, the Upper West political grapevine was rife with rumor that a grand tribalistic scheme code named the ?Dagaaba Agenda? had been nurtured in the comfy offices of the Roger Ansonwini in the flag staff house with the blessing of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama, to, enable Dagaabas to wrest control of the Upper West NDC from the Waalas. As a discerning group, we chose to treat that rumor with the contempt that we thought it deserved.
?During the election, two Waala aspirants won and that naturally set the alarm bell jarring in our collective ears. Immediately after the declaration of the results, jubilant Dagaaba executives, delegates, MPs and party supporters openly proclaimed that they had finally been freed from the shackles of the Waala domination and that it would take at least twenty five years before another Waala could become the regional chairman of the National Democratic Congress.
?We are particularly shocked by the sheer ingratitude shown us by Abu Kabiabata Kasangabata who cut his academic, political and social teeth under the care and direction of various prominent Waalas but today conveniently become a cog in the wheel of the Dagaaba Agenda whose avowed goal, it has now emerged, is to sideline the Waalas in every single area regarding the region. Abu K K as he is commonly called has now become brazen in his boastful utterances to the effect that Mr Roger Ansonmwini has promised him an appointment as a presidential staffer.
?We are, however, not all surprised at Abu K K?s desperation to land another juicy appointment because in his four years as a DCE he was able to build mansion whose sheer magnificence influenced him to name it after Grant Hyatt in Dubai. This unabashed display of plagiarism is not all surprising about a character that has no respect for the basic rules of grammar.
?It is alleged by the said Abu KK, Kala Caesar and their cohorts of political leeches that Roger Ansonmwini is planning and executing this highly divisive agenda had and still has the blessing of His Excellency President John Mahama. We wish to make a direct statement to His Excellency John Mahama that any attempts to appoint Abu KK or his ilk into political office would confirm his involvement in the Dagaaba Agenda.
?It cannot be gainsaid that for the past twenty two years, Alhaji Malik Issahak has been the social glue that has held the NDC together as a formidable party that it is in the Upper West region. In terms of awarding contracts and helping making good appointments, he has never played the tribal card. Sad to say, the new Chairman Mr Mathew Sung-Aabo is taking a first false step by pledging to rotate regional executive meetings among the various constituencies.
?Coming on the heels of his riding into office on the wings of unabashed tribalism, this pledge to take executive meetings to other constituencies? smack of an attempt to perpetuate himself in power, and further their tribal agenda.
?We wish to put this message across that we are not sour losers; we are merely cautioning the party to nip this creeping tribalistic agenda in the bud before it destroys us all. We will not hesitate in our quest to secure and protect our interest in any other party that is prepared to accept us the way we are,? the youth said.