Headed by Mr.Abass Nurudeen,Communication Bureau of Ashanti Regional NDC branch has responded to President Akufo-Addo’s four-day working visit to the Ashanti Region which ended yesterday.
According to him, as a responsible opposition and a government in waiting, custom demanded that they follow every minute of his tour with keen interest.
He said,they invited the press this morning to state their position on the key highlights of the President’s tour, and to as well correct some factual distortions that have always been characteristic of President Akufo-Addo.
He said,the Ashanti Region, as we all know, played a key role in President Akufo-Addo’s rise to political prominence.
To place this fact in its proper context, in the 2020 Presidential Elections, President Akufo-Addo garnered almost 1.8 million votes from the Ashanti Region as compared to a little over 700,000 votes in his own Eastern Region. And having been the luckiest President Ghana has ever had, President Akufo-Addo in six years has had access to over GH500 billion in terms of revenues from loans, taxes, receipts from oil, gold, cocoa and other natural resources.
“It was therefore our expectation that President Akufo-Addo would use his tour as a golden opportunity to showcase the achievements of his government in the Ashanti Region to the whole world.
However, many are still left to wonder what exactly it is that President Akufo-Addo came to do in the Ashanti Region after four days, as the usual excitement, pomp and pageantry that in times past greeted his visits to the Region were this time around replaced with widespread discontent, disaffection and in some cases, outright anger.
1. INCIDENTS OF HOOTING AND JEERING AT PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
Distinguished friends, one notable development was the palpable show of disapproval of the performance of the Akufo-Addo government by the good people of the Ashanti Region, the stronghold of the New Patriotic Party. As you all know, In the early days of his administration, the reception accorded President Akufo-Addo, anytime he visited Kumasi, was one near a hero’s welcome. However, this time around, President AkufoAddo and his entourage were at the receiving end of boos and jeers from some onlookers notably in the central business district of Adum and other parts of Kumasi.
This massive show of disaffection is a reflection of the general mood of the people in the Ashanti Region and also a clear indication that his bad economic policies have hit home and that the stranglehold of the New Patriotic Party in the region is fast waning.
It is also an indication that President Akufo-Addo’s continuous misrule and mishandling of the affairs of Ghana have occasioned great suffering for all of us, of which the Ashanti Region is no exception. And If President Akufo-Addo and his government wanted a referendum on their tenure, then that was a message so clear enough from the Ashanti Region.
2. DEMEANING COMMENTS ABOUT VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE AND INSULT ON THE PEOPLE OF KWABRE EAST
Another low point of President Akufo-Addo’s tour was his addressing of visually impaired persons as well as the people of Kwabre East in very demeaning and condescending terms.
The cold reception that was accorded President Akufo-Addo and his long retinue of Ministers and government officials seems to have ruffled him so much and sent him into throwing tantrums that are very unworthy of the high office of President; To have stated that only blind people cannot see his so-called good works is to spite our brothers and sisters who are visually impaired in the most unfortunate way.
At a time leaders across the world are making conscious efforts at building inclusive societies, President Akufo-Addo must not be seen to encourage comments that have the potential to further disempower people with known disabilities.
Perhaps the height of the President’s effusions was his response to a request from the people of Kwabre East concerning the nature of their roads.
During a live radio interview on Otec FM, President Akufo-Addo was reminded by the host of a longstanding request from the Kwabre people about the deplorable nature of their roads. In response, President Akufo-Addo inexplicably called the bluff of the people of Kwabre East over their threat to vote for the NDC if he fails to do something about the poor nature of their roads.
President Akufo-Addo is on record to have told the people to go ahead and do their worst, because in his words, nobody forced them to elect him into office. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are talking here about Kwabre East, the Constituency that gave President Akufo-Addo over 85,000 votes in the 2020 general elections. Clearly, power has gotten into the head of our President so much such that he doesn’t care a hoot about the plight of the people who gave him the power.
3. COMMISSIONING OF JOHN MAHAMA/NDC LEGACY PROJECTS
330 KV Transmission Line From Kumasi To Bolgatanga
Fellow countrymen and women, President Akufo-Addo’s shameless determination to appropriate for himself credit and glory for projects that were commenced by the erstwhile Mahama/NDC government was once again on full display.
One such project was the commissioning of a 330KV transmission line from Kumasi to Bolgatanga to facilitate the sale of power to Burkina Faso. This project was one of the handiworks of the visionary nation-builder, H.E John Dramani Mahama for Ghana’s energy sector, which ensured that we had enough generation capacity in order to export the rest for cash.
By way of brief history of this project, work on this project commenced in 2016 and was scheduled to be complete by July 31st, 2018. Funding for same was secured form the French Development Agency (AFD), with a facility of $174 million in addition to a European Union grant of $5 million dedicated to project Management and Supervision.
Indeed, it is sad that the very people who accused President Mahama of generating so much megawatt of power than needed are now busily claiming credit for commissioning mere transmission lines that were just to aid the realization of the bigger vision to export power to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
After unduly delaying the completion date of the project which was supposed to be 2018, President Akufo-Addo four years down the line now seeks to once again reap where he did not sow, by coming to commission it and failing to recognise the enormous contributions of his predecessor.
60-BED KONONGO DISTRICT HOSPITAL
President Akufo-Addo’s first stop during his rather empty tour was to commission a 60bed district hospital at Konongo, the capital of the Asante Akim Central Municipality.
It is important to underscore the fact that this project was started by the Mahama/NDC government, but very typical of President Akufo-Addo, he refused to give credit where it is due.
At the same time, President Akufo-Addo conveniently neglected other key projects initiated in the area of health by the erstwhile Mahama/NDC to help address the critical health needs of the people of Ashanti.
These projects include the 500-bed military hospital at Afari, the 250-bed Regional Hospital at Sewua, the 120-bed Kumawu District Hospital and the 120-bed Fomena District Hospital.
Given the huge population of the Ashanti Region and the pressure this brings to bear on existing facilities, it goes without saying that the timely completion of these projects would have brought great relief to the people of the region.
However, all these projects have been left to rot away while the President instead goes about pursuing his phantom Agenda 111.
SUAME INTERCHANGE PROJECT
Ladies and gentlemen, President Akufo-Addo purported to cut sod for the construction of a four-tier interchange at Suame Roundabout.
The obviously kneejerk groundbreaking ceremony was in response to the recent anger that was vented on the Majority Leader and MP for Suame, Hon. Osei Kye-Mensah Bonsu whose constituents accused him of doing very little about the deplorable state of roads in Suame. After claiming to have constructed thirteen interchanges across the country, without a single one in their stronghold, this sod cutting at Suame was nothing more than a face saving gimmick with no real intent. Is it not pathetic that the Sofoline interchange project has seen little improvement in the six years that President Akufo-Addo has been in office? Having failed to give any priority to the completion of the Sofoline Interchange, there is no gainsaying that this Suame Interchange project will not see the light of day before the eventual exit of the NPP from office in 2024.
FAILED FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL MINING
President Akufo-Addo’s tour of the Ashanti region came at a time the illegal mining scourge is biting hard on water bodies, forest reserves and general ecology of the region.
This wanton destruction of the environment through the activities of galamsey is being spearheaded by officials in his government, including some MMDCE’s as we have seen in various investigative reports by you in the media, and other high-ranking officials of the New Patriotic Party.
One name which has been mentioned in relation to the increased spate of galamsey in the region is that of the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, aka Chairman Wuntumi’.
For President Akufo-Addo to have paraded such a man in front of the Overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Otumfour Osei Tutu II, and promise to tackle galamsey, is an insult of the highest degree.
If President Akufo-Addo has any respect for the chiefs and people of the Ashanti Region, he must distance himself from his Regional Chairman who has gained notoriety for the very act he purports to be fighting.
Having failed to prosecute any of his appointees who have been named in various illegal mining activities, President Akufo-Addo must stop the display of such hypocrisy and outright disrespect. “He Said.
He concluded that,”it goes without saying that President AkufoAddo’s latest tour of his favourite political backyard was nothing short of underwhelming.
With nothing by way of any worthy accomplishments, President AkufoAddo went about inspecting and commissioning mediocre and mundane projects which ordinarily should be the work of DCE’s and other government officials.
To imagine that the President was driven in a convoy of nearly 70 V8’s to commission a magistrate court building at Toase, sums up what miserable spectacle of a tour it was.
It is important to remind ourselves that when President Mahama and the NDC constructed a brand new High Court building at Obuasi in 2016, the then Regional Minister and MCE for Obuasi at the time did the honour of commissioning same. This is for us, the difference between the Nation-Builder, President John Dramani Mahama and the Family Builder, His Excellency William Akufo-Addo.
Whereas one of them – President Mahama, built legacy projects in the Ashanti Region, such as the $234 million Kejetia Central Market project, the largest investment in the history of the Ashanti Region, the Kumasi Airport Phase II, Rattray Park, Konongo-Kumawu-Kwahu Water Project, the 500-bed Military Hospital at Afari, the 250-bed Regional Hospital at Sewua, the other – President Akufo-Addo, has very little to show for all his unprecedented borrowing and the huge votes he enjoys from the people of the region.
Indeed, the popularity of the New Patriotic Party and President Akufo-Addo for that matter is so low in their own stronghold that they have resorted to emulating the NDC’s hugely successful membership drive in the Ashanti Region in order to try and revive their sinking fortunes. For a party that garnered as much as 1.8 million votes out of a total of 2.5 million valid votes cast in the 2020 elections to be conducting a membership registration drive in their supposed comfort zone two years down, is clear indication of their waning popularity in the region. We can only wish them well, but also remind them that time has caught up with them, and nothing can save their drowning ship.
Thank you for your attention and may God bless our homeland Ghana. “