Posted by: rumnet | March 16, 2012

Will John Mahama Fail Gonjaland?

Will John Mahama Fail Gonjaland?

 (Published in the March 2012 edition of the advocate) 

By Joseph Ziem

The people of the Gonja Traditional Area fear that Vice President John Dramani Mahama may renege on the promise he made to them in February 2011 that if by 2012 the 98 mile Fufulso-Damongo Sawla road is not tarred, NDC should be hooted at during the electioneering campaign.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama

Yagbon-Wura Tuntumba Boresa Sulemana Jakpa I

“What campaign message will I be coming to give to you in 2012 if the road is not tarred?”. The Vice President asked, during the First Anniversary of the installation of  Yagbon-Wura Tuntumba Bore Essa Sulemana Jakpa I.  He assured the chiefs and people of Gonjaland that this time around government was committed to tarring that road.

According to him, he would have no campaign message for the people in the area if by the close of 2012 work is not being expedited on the project which is a major campaign tool for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC.) 

But close to a year after the promise, unfolding events suggest the NDC government is likely to let the people down following several postponements of the ground breaking ceremony to kick-start the project.

The chiefs and people, according to TheADVOCATE sources, are already getting disappointed and feel they were about to be deceived by their own son who had promised to put an end to their woes.

Most residents claim they have every cause to believe the project would not take off after a much publicized sod-cutting ceremony by the Vice President in January was cancelled with several excuses. 

TheADVOCATE gathered that one of the contractors allegedly assigned to the project claimed his equipments were locked up at the harbor while some were still on the high seas into the country.

He could therefore not begin work as agreed prompting the postponement of the event which in the last couple of months had become the propaganda of the NDC communication team.

Many NDC functionaries had, on several media platforms, bragged that work on the infamous 98 mile Fufulso-Damongo Sawla road was ongoing but their claims are different from the actual situation on the ground.  

Government, exactly a year after assuming office claimed it secured USD$166 million from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of the road.  

It was based on this that the Vice President promised his people and said work will soon commence on the  road to link the area to the Upper West Region and other parts of the country. 

He reiterated that the African Development Bank had pledged to support Ghana government to upgrade the Fufulso-Damongo-Sawla road saying work will commence on the project in 2011 but at the beginning of 2012 work is yet to start. 

It is unclear what other challenges government is facing in embarking on the project which is pivotal to the NDC’s chances in the area but sampled views by TheADVOCATE reveal the residents are disillusioned with the government, particularly the Vice President. 

The construction of the Sawla-Damongo-Fufulso road in the Western part of the Northern Region, according to government and NDC Communication team, was set to commence in October  last year.  

According to them, the road was to be developed into a major trunk road to link Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region, to Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region. 

They claimed the project, when completed would improve the socio-economic lives of the people by enhancing mobility, improve the transportation of agricultural produce, increase trade and serve as a catalyst for the development of the communities located along the route. 

The road serves as the only access route to three of Ghana’s important tourism landmarks, the Mole National Park, the Larabanga Ancient Mosque and the Mystic Stone. 

According to a Damongo based non-governmental organization – Centre for Women Opportunities (CWO), an estimated 2 million journeys are embarked upon by students who ply that road between the Upper West Region and Northern Region every academic year.

According to the Executive Director of CWO Mr. Cletus Zumeh, who like the Coalition of Agro Processors and Petty Traders, has been involved in advocating for the construction of the road over the years, said an estimated 400 gari processors are in the Damongo town alone.

“People including students schooling in the Northern and Upper West Regions all stopped there to buy gari when going to school. But because of the bad nature of the road and upsurge of armed robbery at certain periods of the year, many of such students prefer to pass through the Upper East Region for safety of their lives.” Zumeh said.

He also disclosed that people from neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in recent past come to buy gari, shea butter and groundnut.  But as a result of the poor nature of the road, many have refused to come and instead, chose to travel down south to buy these products. “Annually, all the various categories of traders and transport operators loose several millions of Ghana cedis as a result of the road not tarred”, Mr. Zumeh emphasised.

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Responses

  1. THE PEOPLE OF GONJALAND SHOULD NOT VOTE DURING THIS COMING ELECTION.

  2. de work on de damongo fufulso road is ongoing.bravo!mahama

  3. post my address


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