Northern chiefs unhappy over poor roads

From Edmond Gyebi

The chiefs and people along the Yendi-Bimbilla road in a massive demonstration (left), Some of the protesters offering a helping hand to a stuck truck. (right)

The refusal of successive governments to pay attention to the extremely poor road networks in the Northern Region, has stirred the chiefs and people in 12 deprived communities along the Yendi-Bimbilla road, to desperately remind the government to walk its talk of ensuring a better Ghana for all.

The irate chiefs and their people, with support from some Community Based Organisations (CBOs), including the Ghana Development Community Association (GDCA), have therefore, embarked on massive demonstrations to back their demand for the immediate construction of the Yendi-Bimbilla road.

They complained that this particular road had been captured in almost every national budget without any work commencing on it, but the 2011 budget, recently read by the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, according to the people, did not mention the Yendi-Bimbilla road, which they said was a ploy by the government to deprive them of their share of road development.

However, the protestors, including the chiefs, wielded tree branches and placards displaying inscriptions like ‘No road – No vote’; ‘Our foodstuffs are rotting in the bush’; ‘2011 budget is incomplete’ and ‘Where is the Better Ghana?” among others.

The spokesperson of the chiefs and people, Seidu Shaini Mohammed, in a petition presented to the Nanumba North District Assembly for onward transmission to the President, maintained that the nature of the Yendi-Bimbilla road had brought serious socio-economic setbacks to the people.

According to the protestors, there had been several cases of sudden deaths among pregnant women, who were unduly delayed on their way to the health centres as a result of the poor nature of the roads.

They asserted that some women in labour had died on bicycles and motorbikes, because vehicles were not ready to ply the road.

Several food items, including, yam, maize, rice and soya bean have also been locked up in the bush, due to the poor nature of road in the Nanumba District.

Meanwhile, the Yendi-Bimbilla road, which is classified as an international road and connects travelers from the Northern Region to the Greater Accra and Volta regions, Togo and Burkina Faso.

The aggrieved chiefs and people are therefore demanding that the ruling government commence and complete the construction of the road before the 2012 general elections, or risk losing their votes.

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