Deputy Minister for Agriculture resigns

The Deputy Agriculture Minister William Quaitoo has resigned has learnt.

His resignation was confirmed by the Director of Communications at the presidency Eugene Arhin.

The resignation comes days after he was accused of making ethnic comments against people from the north.

Speaking to Joy News’ Evans Mensah the Director of Communications at the presidency said the embattled deputy minister tendered in his resignation “15 minutes ago and the president has accepted the resignation.”

Mr Quaittoo, 50, who is also the Member of Parliament for Akim Oda in an interview on Accra based Star FM said the people of the North are “difficult people.”

He was discussing a controversial issue about the impact of the fall army worm in the Northern Region.

Farmers in the Northern Region were said to be demanding compensation for the adverse impact the fall army worm disaster has had on their farms.

When he was asked whether government was considering a compensation package for the farmers, the response by the Deputy Minister was considered offensive especially to people of the north.

“If anybody in the north says his farm was destroyed by armyworm, the person would have to come and prove it. As for 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. 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…” the Deputy said.

His comments were condemned by many especially MPs from the north as well as chiefs and the youth from Dagbon.

With pressure mounting, the Deputy Minister issued an unqualified apology for his comments but that did not help.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu issued a strongly worded statement condemning the Deputy Minister for his comment.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, we in the Minority wish to serve notice that we take this matter serious and will demand and take all legitimate, legal and appropriate measures to bring the originator of this offensive, mischievous and divisive statement to order in the supreme national interest,” he said.

The Deputy Minister has since resigned his position Tuesday evening.
It is not clear yet who will be appointed to take his position.

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