Tuesday, May 10, 2011


With the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government fast gaining insalubrious reputation for “promise and fail” and inefficiency, a section of the youth of the three Northern Regions are currently very much apprehensive that the John Evans Atta Mills’ government would definitely fail in the implementation of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authourity (SADA) aimed at closing up the development imbalance between the north and the south of Ghana.

Even though the government in 2008 promised to set up the SADA within the first 100 days in office with seed money of One hundred million dollars (US$100,000,000.00), the much awaited development programme is reportedly still remains a mirage after two and a half years in power.

However, the Northern Youth for Peace and Development (NYUPED), an NGO and a non-political pressure group based in the three Northern Regions, has vehemently expressed the fears that the SADA would also be like one of the numerous political talks of the ruling government.

The NYUPED asserted that, they have reliable information that the GH¢20,000,000.00 cheque issued to the SADA authourity as part of the US$100,000,000.00 seed money for the implementation of the programme was “just a blank cheque” and could not be accessed.

The Group has therefore poured out their venom on the Vice President John Dramani Mahama, who is a native of the north and key functionary in government for his alleged inability to ensure that the SADA was being implemented by now.

The NYUPED is now challenging the Vice President, Members of Parliament and Ministers from the three Northern Regions to admit their inefficiency and also resign from their respective positions within 144 hours (starting from Saturday), or they would face massive protest from the youth of the three regions.

Addressing a Press Conference in Tamale on Saturday, May 07, 2011, the Executive Director of NYUPED, Prince Hardi Adams said that there were clear indications that the NDC government could not fulfill its promise of bridging the development gab between the north and the southern part of Ghana through the SADA.

According to him, President John Evans Atta Mills during the 2008 electioneering campaign solemnly promised to act very quickly to assist the SADA with an amount of US$100,000,000.00 as Seed Money within the first hundred days in office to address the development needs of the three regions.

“Two years down the line, the hopes and aspirations of the good people of Northern Ghana have just been thrown to the dogs, the promises of the President seem to be just cheap political talks calculated only to deceive the people and win votes for his party. The People of Northern Ghana have learnt with utter shock and bewilderment that apart from the Twenty-one million Ghana cedis (GH¢21,000,000.00) cash placed in the accounts of the Authority way back in 2007 by the previous administration, only a black cheque for Twenty Million Ghana cedis (GH¢20,000,000.00) has been given to SADA to date”.

On the other hand, Mr. Prince-Hardi explained that the formation of NYUPED was not to attack politicians or government but to see to the wellbeing of the good people of Northern Ghana who have been bedeviled with ethnic conflicts, poverty, illiteracy, diseases and development disparities among others.

He called for an end to the raging chieftaincy disputes with political undertones, and challenged political leaders on the three regions to stop exploiting the ignorance of the youth for their personal and political gains.

Meanwhile, in response to these assertions by the NYUPED members, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SADA, Mr. Alhassan Andani deeply expressed disappointment at the way some individuals and pressure groups in the Northern Sector were drugging the whole SADA programme into political lines.

According to him, the SADA was very dear to the ruling government since it seeks to comprehensively address the development needs of the people in the Savannah Ecological Zone, so therefore there was no way the same government could deceive the SADA authourity and the good people of the area with a “blank cheque” as being asserted by the group.

He challenged the credibility of the source of information of NYUPED about the so-called blank cheque allegedly issued by the government.

Even though Mr. Andani did not specifically mention how much money sitting in the accounts of SADA, he told The Chronicle that he had sited a letter signed by the Secretary to the President instructing the Finance Minister for the release of 25 million Ghana cedis for SADA.

The SADA Board Chairman and Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana indicated that the SADA was a 25 year development program and was supposed to go through the necessary processes to ensure its success.

At the moment, the SADA bill has been passed by parliament since November 2010 and its board also inaugurated on December 20, 2010 whiles other necessary technical arrangements are also being made to ensure the commencement of the program.

The SADA is expected to improve the lives of the people in the Northern Sector of Ghana with improved road networks, electricity, health facilities, water and sanitation and most importantly agricultural business.

But the Northern Youth for Peace and Development still maintained that the NDC government could not in any way explain itself but to only find another political story to tell the people up north about why they failed to implement the SADA in the coming election.

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