Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, William Quaitoo has resigned for what many have described as ethnocentric comments about people from the three regions of the North.
President Nana Akufo-Addo accepted his resignation from office, according to the Presidency’s Director of Communications, Eugine Arhin.
Mr. Quaitoo had come under fire for saying, in an interview on Accra-based Star FM, that northern farmers could not be trusted in their assessment of damage from armyworms.
He further intimated that calls for government compensation for farm losses from the farmers were simply a ploy to fleece the state.
Mr. Quaitoo subsequently apologised for his comments in a statement, where he said he meant to imply that “some farmers can be difficult as it is with all regions.”
He also said he prided himself as a Dagomba, having lived in the Northern Region for 27 years, and assured that he would not “consciously spite them.”
But the apology would not be enough, with the Minority in Parliament starting calls for either his resignation or his immediate dismissal from the government for the disparaging comments.
The National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu, A. B. A Fuseini, for one, said he would not accept the apology as he felt the damage from the Mr. Quaitoo’s “repulsive” comments had already been done to millions of northerners.
“The people of the three northern regions have been grossly insulted… he has painted us a bunch of unreasonable people who cannot even understand and appreciate normal discourse then he goes on on the basis of that to say that we are untrustworthy people for perpetrating fraudulent activities, making false claims and stealing monies from state coffers,” Mr. Fuseini had said in a Citi News interview.