Another Political Season is here, and like it is done every season, promises are made and the hearts of the ordinary citizen is drawn to a particular party or personality he/she will want to vote for.
In the Upper East Region, a major project that will be used for political points will be the Bolga-Bawku road. A road which has had its construction been in disarray for a very long time.
A trip from Bolga to Bawku exposes individuals to the reality of poor roads. Sections of the tarred road have lost their coat to ageing whiles potholes have developed into manholes, swallowing cars and causing drivers a great deal of expenses on daily maintenance of their vehicles. The dotted potholes on some somehow better portions of the road compel motorists to adopt a style of swerving to dodge the irritating deep bunkers. The nagging question however remains, are you able to dodge completely? “Dodge one, get four free.”
In 2012, the youth of Bawku and commercial drivers hit the streets to register their displeasure about the state of the roads that leads to one of the nation’s busiest commercial towns. The protest was followed with commercial drivers refusing to ply the road, leaving passengers stranded and as expected in an election year, heavy duty vehicles and equipment’s were moved to the site and the supposed fixing begun.
However, work on the roads seized after elections with all the heavy duty equipment disappearing into thin air.
This notwithstanding, the hopes of the KUSUAG people in getting their roads fixed had not diminished as they banked their hopes in their elected leaders. They became rest assured that their roads will be fixed no matter the circumstance after president John Dramani Mahama promised that “I want to promise you that the next time I come to Bawku the road between Bolga and Bawku will not be the main issue, as soon as I go back to Accra, I am going to speak to the road minister and you will see for yourselves the difference that will take place.”
Regardless of this promise, there was no work done on the road as users continued to be faced with difficulties traveling the Bolga-Bawku road.
Fast forward to 2015, the president visited the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, on his “changinglives” forum where he promised the chiefs and people that “government is doing a lot in respect of the road projects. When I visited Bawku the last time for the Samanpiid Festival, I assured the Bawku Naba that soon he is going to see a lot of action on the Bolga-Bawku road. The contractor currently working on the road is working on a certain phase of it, we are going to bring a second contractor so that there will be two contractors working on the road. The other contractor will work from where the other contract ends, and speed up the project as quickly as possible. I know that is a very important road and I can assure you that by the time I’m coming back next year, it will be in a much better condition than it is now.”
Regardless of the fact that earlier promises didn’t see the day of light and the road was still in its deplorable state, the President made another promise which got the people hailing and restoring their hopes of seeing their roads being fixed.
Having made two unfulfilled promises, it is alleged that the President cancelled his “Accountingtothepeople” tour to the region to avoid the embarrassment of making another promise which will not be fulfilled.
Like the President’s unfulfilled promises were not enough, Hon. Albert Abongo in a meeting with a Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in April to discuss the state of the region mentioned emphatically that the Bolga-Bawku road had been awarded to the Brazilian Company working on the Tamale Airport in the Northern region and promised that work will soon commence. However, in a twist, the Regional Minister in an interaction with the media indicated that Government of Ghana will by close of the month see to the signing of a contractual agreement with a Brazilian Quiroz Galvao engineering group to kick start the reconstruction and upgrade work on the over 70-kilometers Bolgatanga-Bawku trunk road.
A most disheartening twist to the unfulfilled promises on the construction of the Bawku Roads is the defense of the Upper East Regional Secretary of National Democratic Congress, Donatus Akamugri who is reported to have questioned people agitating because of the road that “did the president give a time frame that he will come? Did he tell you when he is even coming to visit his in-laws in Bawku the road must be fixed before he comes? Did he tell them that if I am coming back for a Samanpiid alone the road must be fixed?”
Yes! Election is drawing near and promises are what win elections in Ghana regardless of whether those promises will be fulfilled or not. The bone of contention here is that, will our leaders continue to prey on us to satisfy just their interest whiles we suffer? Or they will take up the mantle and offer us our due. GOD IS OUR ONLY HELPER!!
Source: Offie-Akoto Ayeh