From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tamale, Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, has registered his disappointment at the aggressive, disrespectful and violent manner the various pressure groups of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Tamale demand contracts, monies, and other privileges from him.
According to the MCE, the youth, who call themselves footsoldiers of the party, had resorted to certain machinations or tactics, where they use violence, insults, false accusations and demonstrations to forcibly demand contracts and preferential treatment anytime plans and development programmes were outlined by the assembly for implementation.
Speaking to The Chronicle at his office in Tamale, in response to a planned demonstration by one of the NDC pressure groups, Alhaji Friday cautioned the youth to rather assist the assembly create more jobs, and also address the general concerns of the entire people of Tamale, in fulfillment of the government’s ‘Better Ghana’ agenda.
The MCE, who is also a former Northern Regional Secretary of the NDC, reminded the youth of the negative implications of their unpatriotic behaviour, which he said, sought to make the ruling government unpopular, and also threatens the security and development of the area.
He disclosed that he was aware of certain characters within the NDC who were pushing and sponsoring those youth to disturb the peace of the area, and also make him (MCE) very unpopular.
“But, none of these threats, insults and names calling can divert or disrupt my vision for the people of Tamale and Ghana as a whole. I am a representative of the President, and I have a duty to work hard to exonerate and justify the trust and confidence Prof. Mills and his government has reposed in me. I know why they are doing this! It is because they are aware of the number of projects this assembly is planning to undertake in this year 2011, and they want to force us to award those contracts to their group. And, you and I know their tricks, if you give one group today, the next day another group is also on the street demonstrating and demanding for projects,” the MCE lamented.
Alhaji Friday noted however, that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly had within the last two years created over 7,000 jobs under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), the government Block Farm Project, and in other areas.
Recently, he said, over 250 youth of the party were awarded contracts to desilt major gutters in the Metropolis, while others have also been engaged in the collection of revenue, irrespective of their political affiliations.
The MCE was very much confident that this year, 2011, which had been declared by the President himself as an “action year,” would see a lot of opportunities for the youth to reduce the unemployment rate, physical infrastructure, and economic development.
He disclosed that the Assembly and its partners in 2010 alone, constructed a number of Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pits (KVIPs), over 36 roads, largely, gravelling, reshaping and grading, to connect the rural Tamale communities to the Central Business District, a number of school blocks, and also renovated a number of health centres.
The Assembly also extended electricity to the Nyohini Clinic, renovated the Aboabo Meat House, and ensured the operationalisation of three sub-metros, to ensuring good governance and grassroots participation.
The MCE, together with his Coordinating Director, John Atubiga, the Public Relations Officer, Issah Musah, took The Chronicle to some of the project sites, including the ongoing Tamale Metropolitan Assembly office complex.
Alhaji Friday however, commended the chiefs, opinion leaders, youth groups, security agencies and other partners of the Assembly, for complementing the good efforts of the ruling government in ensuring peace and security in the Tamale Metropolis.
According to the MCE, ensuring maximum security was one his topmost priorities to maximise the inflow of investors and tourists into the city, to ensure accelerated development.
He advised heads of departments and institutions, especially, schools and health centres, to step up their efforts to ensure quality teaching and learning, and quality healthcare delivery.