- The deputy minister for agric is under fire for disparaging northerners
- In an interview, Agyapong Quaitoo, described northerners as "difficult" and suggested that they were liars
- His remarks have provoked public outrage, with many calling on him to resign
- He has retracted the remarks and apologised.
William Agyapong Quaitoo, the deputy minister agriculture, has provoked public condemnation for disparaging Ghanaian northerners in an interview.
Quaitoo, according to multiple media reports, described northerners in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions as "difficult" people.
He made the comments as he rejected reports that armyworm had destroyed farmlands in the three northern regions.
He suggested that those making the claims in the northern regions were liars and that northerners were generally difficult people.
The minister said he had lived in the north for 27 year and could speak some of the region's languages.
He said he could testify, therefore, that northerners were very difficult people to deal with.
"Our brothers [in northern Ghana], it is so difficult to deal with them. I lived there for 27 years, I speak Dagbani like a Dagomba and all that. They are very difficult people. Nobody can substantiate.
If anybody says that his farm was destroyed by armyworm, the person would have to come and prove it. We have no records of that. It’s just a way of taking money from the government; that’s what they do all the time,” he was quoted as saying by mynewsgh.com.
The development has provoked outrage, with some Ghanaians calling for him to resign or be fired.
The controversy Quaitoo's comments generated prompted him to offer a swift apology.
In an interview with Accra-based Starr FM, he unreservedly retracted the remarks and apologised.
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