Betrayed Trust


Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori PaninBetrayed Trust

12 November 2014

The Okyeman Council held its second national congress last weekend at the Cocoa Research Institute, Bunso, in the Eastern Region. It was well attended by sons and daughters of Okyeman as well as guests from other parts of the country.



The highlight of the three-day event was the decision by the chiefs of the area, led by the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin—who doubles as the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs—to scout for resources to fix the bad roads in the area. The decision was arrived at after several appeals made to the central government had fallen on deaf ears.

With no solution in sight, the chiefs said they would mobilise resources to rehabilitate the roads, particularly the much talked-about deplorable Suhum-Apedwa section of the Kumasi-Accra highway, after which they would mount toll booths to recoup the money spent and for subsequent maintenance.

Much as the proposal sounds laudable, it is a recipe for chaos as evidenced in the Legon toll booth saga, since the roads in question are national assets with no traditional authority having control over them. The chiefs may have taken that line of action because of their frustrations, occasioned by complaints from their subjects, following the State’s failure to live up to its responsibility.

President Mahama promised to fix the road during his 2012 electioneering campaign in the region, but he has not been able to fulfil that promise.

And to avert the imminent chaos, the government needs to intervene and do that quickly to restore public trust. The agony of motorists and commuters may not be visible to the President because he doesn’t use that road—not even when he is on tour of the region as he shuttles in a helicopter.

Leadership is about trust, and the presidency should be the embodiment of public trust and not deception.

As it is, the people of the Eastern Region feel dejected and see themselves as not being part of the State of Ghana; hence, the decision to fix their awful road networks themselves.

Having fulfilled their part of the social contract, they can only hope for the State to do its bit, but what they have seen in recent past is betrayal by the political leadership.

When President Mahama toured the region early in the year, the chiefs raised concern about the deplorable state of the roads and to their surprise, the President told them unambiguously that they were not alone in the quagmire, and that they should travel to the Upper East and see what’s happening there.

This is nothing but leadership failure borne out of lackadaisical attitude, with such a statement coming from the father of the nation who rather than consoling them, was rubbing salt on their wound.

The Nsawam-Suhum-Apedwa road was started by the Kufuor administration using Government of Ghana (GoG) funds, but in the opinion of the current administration, internally generated funds are not meant for road construction or capital projects but for the payment of phantom and dodgy judgement debts to party cronies. Otherwise how does one justify the payment of over GH¢600 million in judgement debts to party financiers within the first two years of the NDC administration?

Why can’t the government look for money to at least fix this all-important Suhum-Apedwa section which has become an albatross on motorists, and give them some respite so that they can also feel a semblance of ‘better Ghana’ small.

Source: Daily Guide



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