Religion, ethnicity and politics are very sensitive things that can create conflicts in communities and countries.
Ethnicity is where God decides where to place you in. No one has the choice of which family, tribe or race he wants to be.That is God’s sole decision. Generally speaking, whatever the limitations and challenges one may face because of his or her ethnicity, one is always proud to belong to that tribe and will be ready to defend it with his life.
With religion, it is by any way the same. Majority of people in this world belong to a faith not by choice but because their parents belonged to it and they get initiated into it. A lot of people however, get converted into another denomination or faith all together.
In both cases, religion is held as the soul of the person, the only way for the salvation of the soul in the life hereafter. Whatever faith it is, the members would defend it with their lives.
People’s way of thinking or way of doing things or experiences acquired or association they belong to, may most likely guide them to adhere to an ideology of a political party and they will join that party.
Here too, they will defend everything about that political party with their lives and even go to the extent of making what is wrong, look right. And here too, some people may decide to cross carpet and join another party, if they find that party more worthy than where they once belonged.
There is a true and present danger when ethnicity and religion become politicised. Just as mixing ammonium nitrate fertilizer with fuel oil will cause explosion, same can be said when politics is mixed with ethnicity and religion.
Before and after independence this God blessed homeland of ours, has been and is witnessing cases of ethnic, religious and political differences, but thankfully, God is holding things in check, so there has been no explosion.
Sadly, as if it is tempting God, the NDC and its tradition of socialists have been introducing things that they hope would spark out social conflicts in this country for their unknown reasons and desires.
Pre-Independence Era: When the British found it tough to get the Asantes to be under them, they cleverly indoctrinated the minds of most of the Southern tribes against Asantes. This was easier for them since the Asantes were always on the war-path, conquering states. To this day, some non-Asantes view Asantes in the bad light for no reason.
Post Independence Era 1: At one sitting in Parliament during the Second Republic, the opposition leader, Dr. Agama of NAL, accused Prime Minister Busia of ethnicity for appointing members of government without considering Voltarians, speaking with such disrespectful words and pretending not to know that the 1969 Constitution mandated only MPs to be appointed into government.
When PP’s Victor Owusu reminded him that any Ewe appointed to head any state department or institution, would soon make sure only Ewes were employed to work under him and came to use the words, “inward looking,” ethnicity in politics swung to dizzy heights even to this day.
NDC and Ethnicity, Religionand Politics: Rawlings, using this misunderstood inward-looking comment, indoctrinated the minds of many Ewes and their next-door ethnic groups that the NPP was Asante and Asante was NPP. And since Asantes do not respect Ewes, because of this inward-looking statement, the NPP must be disregarded. The fact that an Asante and an Anlo royal families share blood, did not matter here.
The NDC always portray the NPP as an Akan (Asante) based party and make Ghanaians to perceive that in the NPP if you are not an Akan you do not matter. Meanwhile, the NDC is Ewe and Northern based. The NDC went on to condemn the NPP for not putting up a Muslim presidential candidate.
Apart from 1996, when the NPP went into an alliance with the National Convention Party when a Southerner/Christian, KowNkensenArkaah, was chosen as running mate, during every general election, the NPP presented a Muslim Northerner running mate and in 2024, it is presenting a Muslim Northerner as presidential candidate.
With the NDC, apart from 2004, when it presented a Muslim/Northerner as running mate, no Muslim has ever been on the ticket of that party.
The NDC has shown that Muslims and Northerners do not matter when the current administration took over the party. With vibrant MPs like Haruna Iddrisu (Tamale South) and Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka removed from office as Minority Leader and Minority Chief Whip.
The motive behind removing Hon Iddrisu does not wash. The NDC said it wanted a finance guru to lead the party in Parliament so that he can be able to challenge the NPP on the economy during Campaign 2024. If that is so, and the NDC truly respects Northerners, it could have taken Hon Isaac Adongo (Bolgatanga Central) instead of Ato Forson, a Southerner from Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam. Adongo sounds more articulate in finance matters than Ato Forson.
It must be reiterated that two NDC gurus once made statements against, Muslims and Northerners. In July 2011, Sam Pee Yalley, a leading member of the NDC, advised President Atta Mills not move into the Jubilee House, because it was close to Nima. And in June 2017, he went on to say that the Jubilee House was being turned into a mosque and this, the Coalition of Muslim Organization led by Hajj Abdel-Manan demanded a retraction and an apology.
In 2007, FifiKwetey, another leading member of the NDC said there was no way a Muslim can be president of Ghana.
The above statements meant that to the NDC, no one must get close to Nima, which is a predominant Muslim and Northern community and because Ghana has a Muslim vice-president, Muslims are transforming the seat of government into a mosque, which the NDC sees as inappropriate and improper. When NDC Christians were both president and vice president, was the seat of government ever transformed into crusade grounds?
And lastly, the NDC is full of religious bigots, for a statement that Muslims can never be president can never come from a true Christian. The Constitution does not list which religion should lead this country.
Going on, FifiKwetey released his latest “hit” when he told Ewes to take the NDC as a religion and adhere to it. He attributed our partisan political journey to be between Asantes (pro-NPP) and Ewes (pro-NDC) and if the Ewes must get what they want, they should make NDC their religion and pass this on, to their children and all generations to come.
Just as his grandmother advised him to hold on to the Catholic faith, FifiKwetey wants all Ewes to hold on to the NDC from now to generations yet unborn through to eternity.
Such a remark is an insult to those in Ashanti region who vote for the NDC. In 2020, the NDC secured more votes for their presidential candidate in Ashanti region than what the Volta region provided. 652,962 votes against 606,424 votes.
When Hon Yaw Safo Marfo, suggested to party leaders in the Eastern region that only Akans should be elected to the high office of presidency, attributing a reason that Akan lands are the most resourceful in Ghana, all hell broke loose.
But for NDC’s FifiKwetey to suggest to Ewes to take the NDC as a religion and die believing in it, we are hearing no cry or sound. The way Ghanaians in general and Ewes in particular get so attached to whatever religion they belong to, ready to kill or be killed to defend their faith, it is very dangerous to suggest that politics should be looked that way.
FifiKwetey is here suggesting that whenever any non-Ewe makes the slightest derogatory comments against the NDC, an Ewe has the right to pull dagger on that person. He could also be suggesting that some form of jihad should take place in the Volta region, where it will be either you belong to NDC or you are out. Homes of members of other parties could be brought down and such persons taught hard lessons which could lead them to the life hereafter.
The NDC from Rawlings to date has succeeded in politicising ethnicity in some parts of this country, where immediately you claim you belong to the NPP who are mocked at.
The Akans, especially the Asantes stand up for the UP Tradition, and thus for the NPP. It must be known that at first the whole of the Ashanti region, made of today’s Ashanti and the whole of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions used to be CPP stronghold, until Nkrumah started showing disrespect to the people, by interfering with chieftaincy matters and appointing traditional leaders, imposing legislators on the people, giving the region less number of seats even though it was the most populated and against a campaign promise, reducing the producer price of cocoa and hedging it for years.
The Ashanti region, to this day, has turned its back on socialist parties. It makes sense but what can be attributed as a strong and good reason for Ewes to hold on the NDC as a religion and even die for it?
If what the NDC is sowing in the Volta region grows and matures and its flowers with seeds are blown by the wind to other regions and they germinate there, soon with religion politicised, Ghana can easily blow up in flames.
If NDC becomes a religion of the Ewes, may Ghanaians find out whether this religion can lead souls to eternal glory? Always looking for ways to turn this country upside down and into flames, then turn round and blame others, this is the NDC.
By Daniel Dugan