The Honourable Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, has blamed tribalism and politicization of development oriented issues for the under development of Northern Ghana, especially the Upper East Region.
He observed that the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) continued to play politics with development issues which had over the year’s retarded development of Northern Ghana.
He said residents in the Region needed to collaborate effectively, irrespective of their political colors, and push for the common goal of the Region after general elections.
Hon. Yakubu was speaking at a meeting with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) on Thursday, as part of the Committee’s working visit to the Region.
The Minister, who is also the former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, said in spite of the vast natural resources including gold deposits in the Region, it was of great concern that the Region was under developed.
Hon. Yakubu also drew the attention of the Committee to the many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) spread across Northern Ghana, especially in Tamale, yet there was high poverty levels in Northern Ghana.
He pledged to work differently in order to achieve results, saying “Anytime the NGOs visit my office, I try to urge them to engage the people in their activities but not impose their wishes on them.”
Hon. Yakubu pleaded with NGOs to pay critical attention to the data they generated, so as to produce authentic data on real issues that would change the narrative of the Region and Northern Ghana at large.
The Chairman of the PRS Committee, Hon. Benson Tongo Baba, said poverty had no political color, but cut across all sectors of the economy.
He said poverty was a threat to national security, and called for an all hands on desk approach to deal with poverty in the country, especially in Northern Ghana.
The Chairman, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Talensi Constituency in the Region indicated that poverty was of global concern which compelled the UN to set up a Commission, Co-chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to work towards the reduction of poverty.
Hon. Baba said the Committee was not on a fault-finding mission to the Region, but needed raw data to enable it put up a strong case in Parliament towards poverty eradication in the country.