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Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press. It is with sad feelings that the Zongo community wish to bring to the attention of the press the blatant violation of a Zongoman human right by an immigration officer in Ashanti Region. Malam Shaibu Suleman applied to acquire a Ghana passport after purchasing and filling the form with all the necessary documents attached. Malam Shaibu Suleiman’s tribe or ethnic group was enquired when he submitted his application form for processing. He replied, Hausa by tribe. The officer then intimated that there is no Hausa tribe in Ghana. This generated into a hot argument between Malam Shaibu Suleman and the officers at the passport office. The officer told Malam Shaibu Suleman that being in Ghana for more than 300 years does not make you a Ghanaian. This was when Malam Shaibu Suleman said the Hausas were in Ghana for more than 300 years ago. This is a serious statement coming from the government official. The Hausas of Ghana are indeed disgusted and saddened and want clarity of this statement by either the immigration officer or from the Director of immigration whether it is the government stand. Malam Shaibu Suleman then informed the Sarkin Zongo of his being denied to acquire a Ghana passport. The Sarkin Zongo tasked some people to verify the allegation made by Malam Shaibu Suleman against the Ashanti region passport office. The Sarkin Zongo emissaries had a fruitful discussions with one Mr. Sylvester the director of passport office in Kumasi as we made him to understand that we are hausas of Ghana and not Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger, Sudan, Benin Hausas. The Director Mr. Sylvester then directed one Mr. Essah an immigration officer to deal and resolve the issue amicably. Surprisingly Mr. Essah continued to demand proof of our Ghanaian identity. We asked him what proof again besides the attached supporting documents like birth certificate, voter ID Card, Subin NDC vice chairman delegate card used recently at Sunyani congress and the house number on the applicant of the form. Mr. Essah amazingly ignored us for reasons best known to him. We had to leave finally having realized that he Mr. Essah was neither prepared to listen nor attend to us any longer. This attitude put up by Mr. Essah is a clear violation of Malam Shaibu Suleman’s Human right as a citizen of Ghana. The Hausas of Ghana cannot claim any tribe apart from theirs as it is not possible or feasible for any tribe to claim another tribe. Indeed it is a worrying situation when one is asked about his tribe and answered is Hausa, and then he is classified as a non-Ghanaian. The history of Hausas of Ghana is not a hidden one in this country in terms of socio- economic and political developments in the country. To buttress this assertion of socio-economic political contribution of Hausas for instance is that, the core Ghana police force was started by the Hausa people, the Ghana armed forces motto on the logo is written in Hausa using Arabic characters ‘kulun shiri “ meaning ever ready , most city centers which became urban centers now sprang around Zongo settlements throughout the country and the Ghana Muslim Association party which later became part of UP tradition were led by prominent people within the Zongo communities. Be it the indigenous Hausa group in which the names of their towns and villages found in Ghana map are of Hausa words or origin, those who came and settled before and during the trans – Sahara Atlantic slave trade and yet still were those brought into the country by the British Royal Armed Forces to serve in the military. All these groups are Ghanaians in any case according to chapter 3 of the constitution of Ghana and the pronouncement of a citizen of Ghana by Dr, Kwame Nkrumah the 1st President of the republic of Ghana when he declared Ghana’s independence on the 6th March 1957 at independence square ground. The Hausas of Ghana who are mostly founders and custodians of most Zongos in the regional and district capitals with the Hausa language as the lingua franca of all these settlements are indeed an integral part of the Ghanaian societies. It is high time to be given the necessary recognition official as they part of the Ghanaian society since time immemorial. The Hausas of Ghana are worried with this developments and thus calling on the appropriate authority to allow Malam Shaibu Suleman to acquire the Ghana passport just like any other Ghanaian Citizen. The Hausas of Ghana shall resist legally any attempt by any Government to prevent them of their Ghanaian citizenship right. The EC is going to embark on registration excise sooner than later and the Hausas of Ghana want clarity of citizenship not by birth cert as reported in the daily graphic of 20th March 2012 so as not to disenfranchise their kinsmen just because they are Hausas by tribe. The question is, where will a zongoman say he comes from and his hometown. Certainly where he is born and brought up. We thus urge all the Hausas of Ghana to register during the voter registration excise and report any difficulties encountered to the nearest Sarkin Zongo within your community. The problems encountered by the Hausas of Ghana as a tribe during the 2010 population Census is still fresh in our memory Thank you. Alhaji S. M. Shariff Chairman Zongo Community

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