Deputy Minister for Agriculture, William Agyapong Quaittoo has rendered an unqualified apology for his unsavory comments which suggested that people from the three regions of the north are difficult and insincere.
Hon. Quaittoo while responding to complaints from farmers in the area on how their farms have been destroyed by the fall armyworm and subsequent appeal for some form of compensation said “If anybody who is in the north and said his farm was destroyed by fall armyworm the person must prove it. Our brothers (in the North) 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…”
His comments attracted a backlash from a section of Ghanaians, some of whom called for his removal from office.
But in a statement released on Saturday, August 26, the Deputy Agric Minister apologised and retracted the comments asking Ghanaians to forgive him.
Below is the statement
APOLOGY AND RETRACTION OF STATEMENT
During an interview with Star FM on Thursday 25 September, 2017on Fall Army Worm (FAW) invasion of farms, I unconsciously 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 mistake 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.