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Dagbong Forum hit back at Hon William Agyapong For Calling Northerners Liars

Hon William Agyapong Deputy Minister for Agriculture
This Press Release is in response to the unguarded, ill-advised, tribalistic and bigoted pronouncements by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Honorable William Agyapong Quaitoo. We acknowledge his apology and retraction of the statements and the unreserved apologies rendered. Anybody can tumble, but the remedy is in true remorse and readiness to correct the harm done.
The Dagbong Forum (DF) wishes to register its displeasure with those unfortunate remarks.
Having spent his formative years in northern Ghana, and therefore benefitted from the hospitality and generosity of the people in diverse ways, his remarks are rather unfortunate. Apart from being an over-generalization, these statements show the underlying negative attitudes and perceptions held by individuals like the Minister about Dagbong and northerners in general. The Minister’s statements also show a lot of disrespect towards all people from the north, including the Vice President and his fellow Ministers, many of whom are his seniors in government.
Most people of southern extraction, who have lived in the north, have tended to remain there, some for the rest of their lives, raising their families and harmoniously co-existing with the people. We wish to state that such negative sentiments about people from the north will not be tolerated in the future.
We will like to express our dismay that the Deputy Minister of Agriculture would rather expect the majority smallholder farming community to bring evidence of damage done to their crops by Army Worms, rather than this being sought from his own, salaried, technical staff at local, district and regional levels. To expect these smallholder farmers to find evidence of destruction of their farms is ridiculous, to say the least. The Minister’s comments also suggest that he may not be abreast of media coverage of the disaster. He should have mentioned specific farmers who lied to him, provided evidence and shamed them personally, rather than making such unfair blanket statements against innocent farmers whose interest he should be fighting to protect.
Information from his Ministry attests to the fact that these smallholder farmers are key players and major contributors to the national food basket. Their role in the attainment of the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs and other policies can therefore not be overemphasized. We extend an invitation for the Honorable Minister on a familiarization and goodwill visit to the North.
We wish to call on the Government to distance itself from those negative sentiments and/or sanction these and future unguarded statements as a necessary condition for peaceful coexistence and harmony, and a clear demonstration of our collective commitment as a nation to hold together for progress.
The Dagbong Forum (DF) exists to foster peace and security, socio-economic development, cultural renaissance and to influence policies and actions so as to transform the lives of people in the area. For more information on this Press Release contact the Public Relations Team: Mr. James Gurundow 0203845079 and Mr. Chentiba Ahmed Taufique 0207784777. Date: 28th August 2017. Dadinkai Mohammed Tawfik 

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