The president will be touring the region from Wednesday 4th to Thursday 5th October 2017 to among other things inspect the progress of work on the Bolgatanga-Pulmakom Road and the Tamde Irrigation Project in the Garu-Tempane District.
These two life-changing and transformational projects are very dear to the hearts of the chiefs and people of the Kusaug area.
You may recall that prior to the historic sod-cutting ceremonies which took place on Monday 11th July 2016, a pro-NDC youth group in the Kusaug area added its voice to calls made by the Overlord of the Kusaug Kingdom, Naaba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, to H.E John Dramani Mahama to remedy the situation.
The NPP government’s decision to supervise the completion of these visionary projects initiated by the erstwhile NDC government of H.E John Dramani Mahama regardless of the fact that while campaigning, the NPP, led by then candidate Akuffo Addo, lampooned these projects, is worth commending.
It is in the spirit of continuous governance that I hereby seize this moment to interrogate the Nana Addo-led administration’s decision to review these projects. The economic importance of this road cannot be overemphasized.
Therefore, one wonders why this government is hell-bent on frustrating efforts aimed at ensuring that the good people of the region get a long-lasting high quality road. There are glaring questions begging for urgent answers.
To begin with, why does the government think that this road shouldn’t be asphalted even though it continues to rake in the revenue much needed to sponsor other developmental needs of the area? The assurances the president gave the Zugdaan regarding the completion of these monumental projects appears to have fallen flat. Is it the case that the president promises one thing and does the other?
As an indigene and just like any other person, I struggle to understand why the road has been redesigned to remove the street lighting design and other components along the stretch. Is it that we do not deserve such a facility? In other words, would the government have considered this unfortunate decision if the project was cited elsewhere? Certainly not! But why do this to the chiefs and people of Bawku and its environs?
Another open secret regarding the execution of this project under the NPP which beats my imagination is the fact that Queiroz Galvao, the main contractor on site, has laid off some workers and subjected those left to massive pay cuts with the advent of this government. Why?
It is imperative to state that work on the Tamde Irrigation Dam Project commenced in July 2016 after H.E John Dramani Mahama, then president, cut the sod. Just like the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom Road, the contractor has since been on site working to get the project completed. But it is clear for everyone to see that this government has slowed the pace of work under the guise of the carrying out a value-for-money audit of the contract.
After promising the good people of northern Ghana in every village a dam, the good people of Kusaug and indeed the Upper East region I dare say are yet to see the slightest indication that the government will make good this promise.
So, the general expectation, therefore, is that the president will use this visit to at least cut the sod for one dam to be constructed.
It is on the back of this promise that some of us struggle to understand why work on the Tamde Irrigation Dam Project has slowed in the last nine months yet the president is happy to visit the site just to make more promises.
Over one thousand people in more than 40 communities whose farmlands and settlements have been affected by the construction of this mega irrigation dam are yet to receive any form of compensation from government.
When news of this presidential visit reached them, they got so angry and vowed to protest and mar the cosmetic working visit. Government functionaries in the area have over the past few days been seen frantically trying to coax them into giving the president a Hollywood reception.
When the president announced that he was in a hurry, many people were misled into thinking that he was in a hurry to hasten the development of the country but alas! What do we see? At least from this visit to the three northern regions which are arguably the poorest in the country, it is clear that on the contrary, the president is in a hurry to dissipate the meagre resources of the various MMDAs and has consequently tasked them to cough up a whooping five thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 5,000.00) each to sponsor his visit ostensibly to cushion the monstrous presidential convoy associated with this government.
Just like many Ghanaians nationwide and in the diaspora, the people of Kusaug especially the youth are feeling the pinch of the hard economic environment precipitated by the actions and inactions of this government leaving many to question the decision to vote for change. The crazy fuel prices at the pumps coupled with the high electricity tariffs are stifling the incomes of thousands.
On this note, I humbly appeal to all our eminent chiefs especially the Zugdaan, Naaba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, and his sub chiefs who per the current arrangements are most unlikely to get audience with President Akuffo Addo to nonetheless remind him of his promise to make life better for the ordinary person. In fact, I appeal to them to point out to the president other roads in the area begging for serious attention such as the Nakpanduri-Garu-Kulunguugu stretch of the famous eastern corridor road, the Zebilla – Binaba road, the Zebilla – Abugri road and the Pusiga town roads just to mention a few.
Even though the president has not indicated his willingness to meet our eminent chiefs during his visit to the region, many hold the view that he should be gracious enough to apologize to the former president Mahama on whose record this visit is hinged. Maybe the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia should be included in the humongous delegation expected to accompany the president for being the propaganda spearhead used by the NPP in the 2016 elections to describe these projects as photoshopped images. Perhaps, he has eggs on his face now given that, nine months into office, they are unable to point to a single development plan or project targeted at reducing poverty in the region.
I know that giving former president Mahama recognition for the role he played together with his appointees will be a near-impossible thing to do but eating a humble pie and acknowledging him will give the visit a lease of life and help erode the perception that the president is running a “Pilolo” government.
Source: Citizen Jarvis Avoka