I never insulted Northerners – Agric Minister hits back
The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has refuted claims that he insulted the people in the northern part of the country.
In a recent interview, he suggested the people in the five regions in northern part of Ghana have benefited from the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme as they have now been financially elevated to buy themselves motorbikes and build cement houses with iron sheets.
Communities in those regions, he said are “shining with metal roofs where there used to be thatch roofs”.
His statement has widely been condemned with some people including the National Democratic Congress asking him to apologise and resign his ministerial position.
But commenting on the incident for the first Tuesday during a courtesy call on the overlord of Gonjaland, Yagbonwura Tumtumba Borisa in Damongo, he said denied making such statements.
The minister is on a three-day working visit to the Northern, Savannah and North East Regions to interact with various stakeholders and assess the impact of the PFJ programme.
“It is the propaganda of the NDC,” Dr Akoto stated, adding “there was nothing of that sort, I was talking about the boom of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.”
According to him, the misinterpretation of his comment is geared towards making the government unpopular, stating that the NDC is desperate to the extent that the party is creating enmity between the government and the people of the north.
“The truth is very clear, PFJ is bringing prosperity to farmers in this country and nobody can dispute it. In fact, the chief said he couldn’t believe it because he knows my background and I will never make such desperate comments,” he told journalists.
He has thus asked Ghanaians “to disregard such comments” and support the government to deliver.
The Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor on behalf of the Yagbonwura cautioned politicians against making unjustifiable allegations that have the tendency to plunge the nation into chaos.