www.padfm.com.gh / Damongo
By Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
(The Youth Imam)
13th July, 2021
Over the weekend, President Nana Akuffo-Addo paid a courtesy call on the King of Gonja Kingdom at the Jakpa Palace as part of his 2-days working visit to the Savannah Region. As per protocol, the King convene a mini durbar of chiefs which saw some prominent paramount chiefs in attendance.
The President in his address made some questionable remarks in respect of development of the region, the political ambition of the NPP among others. First and foremost, the decision to convert the Jakpa Palace into a partisan political campaign platform, so that the President could decide to use that space to outdoor the NPP’s political ambition in the Savannah was uncalled for, very unfortunate and an insult to the chiefs and people of the Kingdom. I dare say, the President won’t try this at the Manhyia Palace although that is even the world bank of the NPP. This singular act deserves an unqualified condemnation by all well meaning Gonjalanders.
The President outdoored the political ambition of the NPP in Savannah which entails their quest to make Savannah Region and for that matter Gonjaland as an NPP stronghold regardless of the fact President Mahama is a son and Royal of this land-the president remarked.
I want to take this opportunity to thank President Nana Addo for being bold to ring this caution to the ears of President Mahama, the NDC and the people of Gonjaland. It is a wake up call and not just a promise. His concluding remarks to the effect that his main contender in the 2020 general elections was President Mahama, a son of the land, yet the NPP was able to increase their Parliamentary seats from one to three is not only praising the NPP but calling the bluff of the NDC and the people of the region. He is thus indirectly telling the people of the land that we don’t appreciate our own and not that we are politically conscious, too wise, accommodating and objective.
His reasons for these remarks:
The President in making this remarks attached reasons to the supposedly “good performance” of the NPP in the region. Prominent amongst the reasons is the creation of the Savannah and the appointments to some sons and daughters of the land.
I was expecting the President to make reference to key life-changing developmental projects for which reason his NPP was rewarded two additional seats. This is not to downplay key appointments and the creation of a regional as drivers in propelling development, but the two as stand-alone factors cannot be convincing reasons why our people should hand you two additional seats.
On the particular reason of the creation of the region, the President forgot to acknowledge the fact that there were six regions created out of which Savannah Region was one. It couldn’t therefore stand to make the case that it was only the people of Gonjaland who were so dying for a region, the other 5 equally were in need just like us. Can the President be honest to tell us how his NPP performed in the remaining 5 regions aside Savannah?
Well, let me attempt to assist the President. In the Oti region, out of the 8 seats, NPP had zero. In the Western North region, out of the 9 seats, NPP had 3 while NDC had 6 parliamentary seats. In Bono East, out of the 11 seats, the NDC swept 8 with the NPP going home with only 3. One of the appointees of President Akuffo-Addo, Major Derek Oduro, MP for Nkoranza North and former Deputy Minister for Defence lost woefully in this region. In the North East region where the Vice President comes from, two major appointees including the first regional minister lost his seat and the local government minister lost the seat which houses the capital of that region. With the few examples above, how can one ever contemplate the people of Gonjaland would so much appreciate the creation of the region and are ready to sacrifice relative socio-economic development and their own son for anything. Well, that’s the narrative we seek to drive.
To sum this up, I beg to ask, if creation of regions were such a big factor in development, why didn’t Nana Addo split his own Eastern Region or the Ashanti Region? After all, the two are individually populous than Gonjaland and Savannah Region for that matter.
If it is about development in Savannah Region in whichever kind, John Mahama’s NDC stands tall than Nana Addo’s NPP. It is worthy of note that if there was any social, economic and a life-changing development project Gonjaland has ever received since the inception of time, then, it was none other than the Fufulso-Damongo-Sawla road project. This project was solely executed by President Mahama and the NDC. The ancillary works along the road are enough to change the socio-economic lives of the people.
Let me state here that, but for Nana Addo and his NPP, Damongo should have water by now. A loan facility of $35m from Eco Bank Ghana was tabled before Parliament in 2016 which was vehemently opposed by the NPP and ultimately got their side of the transition team to suspend same. They smartly indicated that they will continue and ensure the loan was secured and the execution of the Damongo water project takes off as scheduled in the first quarter of 2017. In office, they first threw that agreement away and ended up playing game of chess with the people of Damongo 5 years down.
Also, the Busunu-Daboya road project was deliberately halted and finally abandoned just as the Tamale-Salaga-Mankango road project. If not for Nana Addo and his NPP, by now the Busunu-Daboya road should have been completed. But even with this wickedness, the people of Daboya-Mankarigu constituency still voted for Nana Addo and his NPP. I should think that is why he has the courage to feel that even without development, they can still buy our votes and conscience with money and food.
Let me also add that, at the time Nana Addo swiftly and deliberately halted and abandoned the Busunu-Daboya road project which started same time with Kyebi roads, he ordered not only for the continuation of the Kyebi roads but converted same to asphalt instead of Bitumen. Between a region for Kyebi land and development of their roads and other developments for them, which one did Nana Addo choose? Well, it is a question for another day.
I would like to state that even with relative development of the entire Eastern Region, President John Mahama did much better than Nana Addo. We can talk about the first ever public University in the Eastern Region which was started by President Mahama, the £75m 5-town water project which included Kyebi, Apedwa, Kwabeng, Anyinam and Osenasi. There are several others in the region. But even with all of these, Nana Addo’s people didn’t give any seat in the Akyem enclaves to President Mahama and his NDC. Not to even talk of the constituency which houses the capital of Akyem land.
The second reason the President gave for the performance of the NPP in Savannah Region is the appointments of some people from the land. Notable amongst the appointments he referenced were: Deputy Chief of Staff, the MD for Ghana Water Company Limited, the Deputy CEO of GEPA among others. With all of these, a single project which the NPP initiated and completed in the region cannot be found and mentioned. None of these people can point to one single key socio-economic but life-changing project they used their respective offices to initiate and completed. So, how do we measure development against these appointments?
To balance this out, I took the pain to look at the appointments President Mahama made in Eastern region. The first three who sat in cabinet were:
- Hon Julius Debrah-Chief of staff
- Hon Omane Boamah-Minister for communications
- Hon Marrieta Brew-Minister for Justice and AG.
In Savannah Region under John Mahama as President, a few appointments he made were;
-The National Security Advisor, HE Ambassador Baba Kamara
-Deputy National Security Coordinator, Chief Alhaji Osman
-Minister for Agric, Hon Alhaji Limuna Muniru
-Deputy Minister of Power, Hon John Jinapor
-Deputy Minister of Transport, Hon Mrs Joyce Bawah
-CEO of Venture Capital, Mr Osman Kiyitoe, among others.
In conclusion, if President Nana Addo cannot point to any developmental projects he’s understaken and those he’s yet to execute, and for which reason we voted for him and his party, he’s directly spitting on our face that we don’t deserve development or we don’t need it. Once he’s pointing to peripheral issues and using same as the bases for the performance of his party in the 2020 general elections, then it stand to reason that they can buy our votes anytime even without any development. It is worrying, it is an insult and above all a wake up call to the office of HE John Mahama, the NDC in Savannah Region and to the good people of Gonjaland.