Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang Editorial
Sometimes is not just about trying to do everything but it is about doing just that one thing, that long after you are gone, people will remember you, the position you occupied, and what you were able to do with that position.
This is what I have learned from Honorable Salifu Saeed as a one-time Northern regional Minister.
He did not come to solve all the developmental challenges in the region. He came with a purpose, to solve the 17 years long chieftaincy dispute in Dagbon. That is what he shall be remembered for as the regional minister for the northern region. People come to power and they want their fingerprint to be on everything.
This strategy does not help both the people and the legacy of the leader. Interventions are meant to live on long after the leader is no more in office. Some interventions by some leaders die even before they leave office.
My humble appeal to the Minister is not to touch on everything that, at the end of his tenure, we cannot pinpoint any of his achievements.
His reign needs to be strategic and more of a partnership with young people, who are doing amazing things in their corners, the chiefs as well as the civil societies who are working in the region to better the lives of the people.
For a very long time, people in the south have made northerners feel like they are giving us handouts. Our textbooks have also emphasized that. That we have nothing to add to the resources that are used in the development of the country.
That we are a charity case. But that is not true. We have resources that can match up to them in what they have, that is our Shea trees and other minerals in the region.
The Shea value in the world market is higher than that of cocoa. Yet, they make us feel like it is nothing. It is just for pomade alone. They refuse to tell us that there is no chocolate without Shea butter.
I would like to see the regional minister spearhead the development of the industry. And to start with the development of the industry, there is the need to protect the Shea trees. It is sad how every day, Shea trees are fell just for the purpose of charcoal or private development and no one is punished. While others are protecting their golden bean we are rather destroying ours.
As the chairman of the regional security service and also the head of the development committee in the region, I would be very happy if he works together with our chiefs, the civil societies, and the young people to protect these trees.
Not just protecting the tress but also establishing a board that see to the needs of the people in the Shea business especially our women. Those that suffer in the processing and yet make little money out of it.
Another thing that I would like to suggest is our tourist site and the promotion of domestic tourism in the region.
The new northern region is unexploited and people do not know where to go. The regional minister together with the regional tourism board can collaborate to map out sites in the region and develop the sites to make the region a tourism destination for people.