Northern Regional Minister Moses Bukari Mabengba last Thursday stormed Radio Justice, a Tamale-based radio station, to exculpate himself from an alleged ethnocentric statement he allegedly made in Parliament in 1994.
In the wake of the Dagomba-Konkomba war in the 1994, the minister, then National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Saboba, was alleged to have remarked that ďKonkombas are like Israelis and if you dare kill one, they will equal that by killing Ten Dagombas.Ē
His alleged inciting comments were in response to a statement from the late Alhaji B.A. Fusheini, a colleague MP, who had earlier commented on the matter on February 9, 1994.
Mr. Mabengbaís statement was reported to be more treasonable and genocidal than the comments the Assin North MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, made, according to the Tamale Central NPP Communications Officer, Akbar Rohullar Khomeini, a panelist on the radio programme.
The NDC representative, one Hadi, an assembly member of Pagazaa electoral area who sought to justify the ministerís comments, rather fueled the entire debate which saw the NPP man insisting that the ministerís comments were in bad taste.
He added that they were also genocidal, ethnocentric and a call for tribal cleansing, wondering why the NDC party in those times failed to arrest and prosecute him.
According to him, Mr. Mabengba had no reason whatsoever, regardless of the provocation to incite one tribe against the other at a time there was bloodshed.
While the debate was raging, the attention of the minister was drawn to the discussion on his way from the Tamale Airport after a trip to Accra on official duties.
He immediately directed his driver to drive straight to the radio station where he met with the general manager and demanded an opportunity for a rebuttal in his attempt to set the records straight.
According to him, there was no way his comments could be compared to that of Kennedy Agyapongís, stating that in his case, there was a war situation in his constituency which he was contributing to on the floor of the house.
The minister noted that soon after making the statement, he was asked by the leadership of the house to withdraw, which he readily did and was later sanctioned by the NDC for making such unparliamentary remarks.
He therefore described as mischievous attempts by the NPP panelist to link him to violence when in fact he was a peace-loving person and could not afford to see one instigate a particular tribe against the other.
But Akbar insisted that the ministerís comments heightened the violence in the region at the time, leading to several needless deaths, wondering why the NDC was constantly vilifying Kennedy Agyapong as if worse statements like Mabengbaís had not been made before.
The regional minister, when reached on phone, admitted to visiting the station unannounced but indicated that he was there to correct the misinformation that was spewed out by the NPP panelist.
Source: Stephen Zoure/Daily Guide
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