A former university don has appealed to people of the three northern regions to stop the blame game concerning the development gap between southern Ghana and the north as the north is well endowed with huge human and natural resources that remain untapped.
A former Pro-vice Chancellor of the University for Development (UDS), Profr David Miller, said this at the launch of a summit dubbed “Northern Brothers Summit” at Bolgatanga on Thursday.
The summit, which is a durbar of youth living in the three northern regions, was organised to reshape the thoughts of participants to see the development in the north as a whole and to encourage them to provide committed service in developing the area.
Prof Miller said what should be blamed was bad leadership and refusal of people of the north, who are well endowed, to invest in the north.
He said he had established an Open University in the Upper East Region using his own resources but strangely some of his colleagues tried to persuade him to set up the university in southern Ghana as well as other projects he had undertaken in the Region.
Prof Miller said if other persons from the north had followed suit, the Region would have developed enormously like the other developed ones and appealed to the participants to change their minds and come on board.
He urged the youth to develop proposals and business plans to revive the defunct tomato and meat factories in the Region, adding that they could establish small businesses and manage them well to grow to become big ones.
Rev Eastwood Anaba of the Fountain Gate Chapel said he opposed the perception that the north was poor and put some of the blame on alcohol abuse, adding that resources spent on alcohol could have been channeled into useful income earning activities.
He also cited the predominance of traditional worship in the north as the cause of poverty, saying a lot of the people spent huge sums of money buying cattle, sheep and goats for sacrifices.
Rev Anaba said polygamous marriage was widespread in the north and that it accounted for one of the major dynamics that brought about poverty in the north as most people in the north married many wives even with their meagre resources.
Mr Tee Nartey, a businessman in the Upper East Region, appealed to the youth to be disciplined, be determined and be focused.
The President of the Upper Regional House of Chiefs, Naba Bewong Segri, said although the colonial government recruited people in the northern territories and used them in the security services, on cocoa farms and in the construction industry and denied them education, it was important people of the north put the past behind them and work hard to develop the area. GNA