- The minister in a statement called on Northerners and Ghanaians to forgive him
- According to him, the comment was unfortunate and thoughtless
The Deputy minister for Agriculture, William Quaitoo, has apologised to the people of the North following some disparaging statements he made about some ethnic groups in the region.
Speaking on the invasion of Fall Army Worms (FAW) on farms and the agitation of farmers in the Northern Region demanding for compensation from government, the minister described Northerners as "difficult people".
He went on to state that agitations by the farmers is just unfortunate "to take money from the Government".
The Agric minister's statements have not gone down well with some Northerners, with MP for Builsa North Dr. Clement Apak describing his comments as "most unfortunate and very reprehensible and most demeaning to the several millions of farmers in the Northern part".
However, the Agric minister has now rendered an unqualified apology to all Northerners, insisting he regrets making such statements.
In a statement released and signed, he conceded that his utterances were "unguarded", adding that he "sincerely retract and apologises" for his comments.
Read the full statement below:
APOLOGY AND RETRACTION OF STATEMENT
During an interview with Star FM on Thursday 25 September, 2017on Fall Army Worm (FAW) invasion of farms, I unconciousely said that “the people of the North are difficult people, I lived with them, and I know them. This is just to take money from the Government.”
I UNRESERVEDLY, RETRACT AND APOLOGIZE SINCERELY FOR THIS UNFORTUNATE STATEMENT AND PRAY ALL AND SUNDRY TO FORGIVE ME ON THIS SCORE.
Yes, I lived in Northern Region for 27 years and had all my formative years there. I often pride myself as a Dagomba and identify with them at all times. I cannot there consciously spite them.
Based on my past experience on Farmer Based projects, I meant to say some farmers can be difficult as it is with all Regions.
The question posed to me was whether the Agric. Ministry will compensate farmers who claim to have lost their investment due to FAW invasion. I answered that destruction of farms by FAW in the north was something I could not comprehend unless it is physically proven. This is because the north has only one planting season and this begins in June. In June, the Ministry had prepared fully (chemicals, trainings and human resources) to treat any farm that will be infested with FAW. So I expect that no such report will come from real farmers from the north if they really follow the defind FAW regime of the Ministry. I concluded that any farmer who reported and proved any loses to FAW will be attended to by the Ministry.
I thank all and sundry who follow my works and actions and pointed out this misttake to me. I ONCE AGAIN, SINCERELY RETRACT AND APOLOGIZE FOR MY UNGURDED STATEMENT.
I urge you all to continue to correct me on my duties. Thank you.
HON. WILLIAM A. QUAITTOO
DEP. MINISTER, AGRIC.