From Samuel Agbewode, Hohoe .
The Paramount Chief of the Gbi traditional area, Togbega Gabusu IV, has appealed to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to, as a matter of urgency, put in place measures to construct the Eastern Corridor road to promote easy movement of goods and services from the northern part of the country to the south.
According to Togbega Gabusu, the eastern corridor road is one of the important roads in the country, but has not been given the needed attention over the years, saying if nothing was done about it, socio-economic activities would be affected in the Volta region in particular and the country in general.
The Gbi Paramount chief made the appeal at a durbar of chiefs in the central part of the Volta region at Hohoe in honour of the President, who is on a three-day working visit to the region. Togbega Gabusu told President Akufo-Addo that the bad nature of the road had already started impacting negatively on economic activities across the region and something ought to be done about it immediately.
Touching on the creation of the proposed Oti region out of the Volta Region, Togbega Gabusu lauded the idea because it would facilitate the rapid development of that part of the country. Togbe, however, kicked against the partitioning of the region based on ethnic lines.
Togbega Gabusu lauded development programmes and policies being initiated by government, particularly the free Senior High School, which he said had actually relieved parents from the financial difficulties that they experienced in the past.
Responding, President Akufo Addo said the time had come for the country to have dedicated leaders who would be sincere in the management of our national resources to the benefit of the citizenry.
He assured the chiefs and people of the Volta region that all promises he made to them should never be considered as mere political talk and that he was committed to fulfilling them.
The President said he was much happy that Togbega Gabusu, the chiefs and people of the Volta region have expressed concern about the poor nature of the eastern corridor road.
According to him, when former President Dramani Mahama claimed that the road was being constructed, he, Nana Akufo Addo, disputed the claim.
According to President Nana Akufo Addo, it is now clear that the eastern corridor road was not constructed and that he has seen the condition of the road himself, especially from Ho to Hohoe. “In fact, due to the poor nature of the eastern corridor road, the vehicle in which I was travelling produced ‘gbungba, gbungba’ noise as it fell into pot holes consistently,” he stressed.
The Minister for Roads, Mr. Kwesi Amoako Atta assured the chiefs and people that government was making conscious efforts to ensure that the eastern corridor road is constructed to promote socio-economic activities.
Mr. Amoako Atta said the 670 kilometer road, stretching from Tema through the Volta region to the north, remained one of the important corridor roads in the country, because travelling from the north through the Volta region reduced the journey by 100 kilometers.
He said certain portions of the road were financed under the Cocoa road project but work had been abandoned, saying the eastern corridor road was dear to the heart of government and that President Nana Addo would construct it.
The president was accompanied by the Member of the Council of State for the Volta region, Mr. Francis Nyonyo, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, The Minister for Land and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu, the Minister for Regional Re-orientation and Development, Mr. Dan Botwe, Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Maxwell Blagodzi and a former Deputy Minister of the Volta Region, Mr. Joseph Kweku Nayan, among others.