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Did NPP really threatened to close medical school at UDS?


So it was that the NPP at one point during its administration came close to shutting down the medical school at UDS. Initially, my reaction to Alhaji Hudu Yahaya’s disclosure last week at a campaign stop, that the NPP was on the cusp of scrapping the school, the first of its kind in the north, but for the radical intervention of some northern progressives, was to take it with a grain of salt; in fact I did not put much premium on the statement, dismissing it as poppycock, and the usual political talk.  But on second thought, I had a change of heart.

You see, my sudden 360 degrees about turn, was based on the realization that Alhaji Hudu Yahaya is a top official of the NDC and thus privy to intimate, should I say, classified information that, you and I as ordinary Ghanaians, have no access to. So, if he maintains rather forcefully, and on record, that the NPP was up to no good relative to the UDS medical school, he is definitely not stretching the truth for political gain.

And, what makes Alhaji Hudu Yahaya’s assertion believable is that there is overwhelming historical evidence to support it. You see, our nation’s history is replete with the strenuous efforts of the political ancestors of the NPP undermining development in the three northern regions at every opportunity.

Be it in education, infrastructure development and transportation, you name it, they always erected road blocks to frustrate genuine efforts to bring progress to the northern regions. They always sought to deliberately relegate the northern regions to the background while the rest of the country flew high economically.

The most egregious example was their attempts to stop the development of the Tamale International Airport, a project that was conceived by the nation’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. And they are none too happy that the Mahama’s administration has continued the project despite cries that it is a cash guzzler.

To date, the northern regions, arguably the bread basket of the nation, has no railways, that would have opened them up to faster development and full economic integration with the rest of the country. That rail-lines have never been extended to the north from the south, a mere 200 miles away, tells it all.

The NPP has been accused variously of being an ethnocentric, tribal and inward-looking political organization, whose best efforts at broad national appeal begin and end in the Ashanti region. The accusations may be over-the-board, but the party has been known to exhibit hostility towards regions which have not embraced it and where it has traditionally not fared well.

After much prodding and several internal reviews of its policies towards regions beyond the south, its main strong hold, the party is beginning to make amends evidenced by its praiseworthy efforts to win votes in the northern regions.

But the particular revelation that the NPP tried strenuously to close the UDS medical school couldn’t have come at the wrong time when the party is struggling mightily to shed its image as a tribal association. It is abundantly clear that the party has a long way to go in terms of convincing northerners that it really cares about their interests.

How many more projects earmarked for the northern regions have been scuttled by NPP politicians in Accra? We may never know until the likes of Alhaji Hudu Yahaya brave all odds and come forward.



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