Youth problems in Zongos and Nima /Maamobi

Source; Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Let’s give thanks to God Almighty and commend our brother and son Mohammed Amin Lamptey and friends for using the social media positively to educate people on issues of importance to the nation. In the recent past he brought out some happenings regarding the use of juju and magic potions to win over girls in Madina in Accra and today it is the turn of Nima Mamobi the twin suburbs of Accra metropolis.

Like the news regarding Madina which was from eye witnesses of the area Alhaji Lamptey got his latest information from a Youngman Mahmud jaja who narrated a mixed bag of happenings in Nima and Mamobi regarding the youth. As a person who was born and bred in Nima and Mamobi he was able to say rightly (through the facebook wall of Alhaji Lamptey) that Nima is the largest of the over 400 Zongo communities dotted across the country . It is made up of many migrant tribes from other parts of Africa particularly the sub region of West Africa.

Though the migrants have their leaders and speak their own dialects the common language spoken in the areas that have many mosques is Hausah. That language was made popular by Hausah traders in cola and other commodities from northern Nigeria who travelled in the colonial days and settled in communities in major towns and villages in Ghana.

While that is true of Nima there are other reasons responsible for the increase in size of the areas such the influx of demobilized soldiers of the Second World War and some low ranked civil servants most of whom spoke Hausah. When the area was first acquired in the Cold Coast, it was a remote part of Accra where cattle and other animals are reared. However when it was gradually becoming the center of the city of Accra with increase in population succeeding governments from our first president kwame Nkrumah who promised to make Nima a city within the city made effort to relocate the inhabitants of the area to other parts of Accra such as Madina.

This move has failed because while some Nima dwellers have moved to settle in Madina a large number of these settlers still live in Nima.

A lot has been said or written about the areas, Nima and Maamobi as they are among the most populous Zongo settlements in Ghana. However they are marginalized, deprived and/or dangerous communities to live in. the two communities especially Nima are widely mentioned as the filthiest locations in the nations’ capital.

In fact some people have suggested, in various quarters, that the areas must be demolished and the inhabitants of these two communities relocated to allow the government to use the “space” for very strategic national infrastructural projects for the beautification of Accra. But it seems to be a difficult option because many huge modern buildings are currently springing up in Nima and mamobi.

The removal of these buildings will be costly as it will require the payment of huge compensation. It will take the government with will power and the backing of the entire nation to demolish nima for better housing projects.

Nima and Maamobi are strategically located in the nation’s capital. These communities share the same constituencies with the Seat of Government; the Flagstaff House in Kanda and two major TV stations…the state broadcaster; Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and TV3 Network. These two communities are also less than thirty minutes drive from the Kotoka International Airport, the Central Business District of Accra, the Parliament of Ghana, the Ministries in Accra, and other equally important landmarks. That is how strategic these communities are located.

Unfortunately, however, Nima and Maamobi are sitting on a time bomb! We are sitting on a time bomb because; the lifestyles of some of the youth of these communities are becoming security threat to the nation.

The weird activities of these youth in question especially during the night along the Nima highway (the Prince Al-Waleed Highstreet) are not good. The Young ones of 12 or 15 years of age are often seen openly doing their own things in full public glare like nobody’s business. What is also more dangerous is the use of hard drugs by these young ones, especially the use of marijuana not only by the boys, but also our young beautiful sisters. This has now become the trend and is seen to be normal in the areas concerned.

Secondly, there is high unemployment among the youth a situation that is becoming alarming. But we cannot give up on the situation as there are still some young people who although unemployed, yet are not ready to work but take delight in sitting idly conversing for many hours. When people are not employed in any meaningful vocation, the tendency for them to engage in negative social activities and other criminal behaviors is very high. No wonder that politicians and landowners use these young men at will to carry out their atrocities. People must eat and live well.

Most of the innocent men are hurting for they go round hungry in the communities not knowing where to get their next meal. This is dangerous as it puts in danger of falling prey to these people who can join gangs to terrorize the people. Our inability as a people to tackle youth unemployment in Nima and Maamobi is a major factor in bringing us where we are now…facing serious social challenges.

The new craze of “get rich quick” among the unemployed that is very disturbing is the “Sakawa pandemic” which is the use of the social media and internet network to dupe people this has led to some zongo dwellers to dupe people in and out of Ghana

Apart from the Sakawa, we have this new phenomenon of gambling and football betting in our communities especially Nima. The last time I checked, there are three multinational betting companies in just Nima and Maamobi alone.

These betting companies operate 24/7 making huge profits from these unemployed youth that’s how ironic and pathetic the situation has become! And this is why I stated earlier that although some of the youth aren’t employed yet they are not ready or are being discouraged from working because of the money they make or hope to make from Internet fraud (Sakawa) and game (football) gambling. The painful aspect of the matter is that the betting or gambling is fast attracting students who risk their school fees on the battings that are not reliable. God save us!!

Again some of our leaders and duty bearers do speak about these issues in churches on political platforms on issues facing the youth of these communities. However nothing much has been done to find solution to this problem. It is expected that our chiefs’, political and religious leaders, will pay attention to these issues and begin to address them. For now, those of us concerned can only draw the attention of our duty bearers to act and act quickly before things get out of hands.

all and sundry, especially those who have stake in the affairs of Nima and Maamobi must take up this matter seriously. All youth leaders, must also do everything possible to push this agenda forward by drawing the attention of all stakeholders such as our chiefs, religious leaders, political leaders and the National Security Secretariat to take action on the matter. these issues are not peculiar to Nima and Maamobi.

But how we address them in Nima and Maamobi could become the reference point for addressing similar challenges in other Zongo communities in particular, and other deprived communities in general. As the issues are becoming national security threats that require our attention we must not sit back but act quickly and now but not watch few people destroy our communities.

Executive director

EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
0244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com/eanfoworld@yahoo.com
With the support of Mahmud Jaja and Mohammed Amin Lamptey

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