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The deputy Agric Minister, William Quaitoo, has rendered an unqualified apology for branding some Northern ethnic groups as “difficult people”.
According to him, the comment was unfortunate and thoughtless.
“I have apologized and withdrawn it. Sincerely, within my heart I have done,” the remorseful Quaitoo told Starr Today’s Benard Nasara Saibu Friday.
His public apology follows calls on him by the Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak to do so.
“I think the comments made by the Deputy Agric minister are most unfortunate and very reprehensible and most demeaning to the several millions of farmers in the Northern part who have year in, year out contributed to substantially not only to feed us but also to keep a lot of the youth in that part of country employed”.
The minister subsequently in a statement called on Ghanaians to forgive him.
Below are details of the statement
APOLOGY AND RETRACTION OF STATEMENT
During an interview with Star FM on Thursday 25 August, 2017 on 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.