The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said the recent tour of the Ashanti region by the President, Nana Addo Danwah Akufo-Addo was nothing but a miserable spectacle and an empty tour.
Abass Nurudeen, the Ashanti Regional Communication Officer of the NDC, addressing a news conference last Thursday said the said four-day tour was underwhelming, as the President only went about inspecting and commissioning mediocre and mundane projects, which ordinarily should be the work of DCEs and other government officials.
“To imagine that the President was driven in a convoy of nearly 70 V8s to commission a magistrate court building at Toase, sums up what miserable spectacle of a tour it was”, the NDC communicator noted.
He referred to an instance when President Mahama and the NDC constructed a brand new High Court building at Obuasi in 2016, which was commissioned by the then Regional Minister and MCE for Obuasi, saying this instance was the difference between the Nation-Builder, President John Dramani Mahama and the Family Builder, Mr. William Akufo-Addo.
According to Abass Nurudeen, whereas 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, among others, 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.
The NDC spokesman noted that the popularity of the New Patriotic Party and President Akufo-Addo 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 (NPP) 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 the line, is clear indication of their waning popularity in the region,” he said.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo, being the luckiest President Ghana has ever had, with the accessibility of over GH500 billion in terms of revenue from loans, taxes, receipts from oil, gold, cocoa and other natural resources, it was the expectation that the President would have used his tour as a golden opportunity to showcase the achievements of his government in the Ashanti Region to the whole world.
To him, the lack of it has left many wondering what exactly the President came to do in the Ashanti Region in four days, which recorded widespread discontent, disaffection and in some cases outright anger, as evidenced in hooting and jeers.
The NDC communication officer also pointed to the very demeaning remarks by the President, during a live radio interview on Otec FM, in reaction to a request from the 85,000 voters of Kwabre East, concerning the nature of their roads, an indication the President does not care a hoot about the plight of the people who gave him the power.
The NDC bemoaned the President’s appropriation of the credit and glory for projects that were commenced by the erstwhile Mahama/NDC government and mentioned commissioning of a 330KV transmission line from Kumasi to Bolgatanga, to facilitate the sale of power to Burkina
Faso, which project commenced in 2016, with funding 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.
“This project was one of the handiworks of the visionary nation-builder, John Dramani Mahama, for Ghana’s energy sector, which ensured that we had enough generation capacity in order to export the rest for cash”, he disclosed.
He said it was sad that after delaying the completion date of the project, which was supposed to be 2018, 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 realisation of the bigger vision to export power to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Abass Nurudeen also pointed to the commissioning of the 60-bed Konongo district hospital which was started by the Mahama/NDC government, while he neglected other key projects initiated in the area of health by the erstwhile Mahama/NDC government to help address the critical health needs of the people of Ashanti.
He mentioned some of these projects as 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.
On the sod cutting ceremony for the Suame Interchange project, the NDC communicator said after claiming to have constructed 13 interchanges across the country, without a single one in their stronghold, the sod cutting at Suame by the President was nothing more than a face saving gimmick, with no real intent.
Abass Nurudeen said having failed to give any priority to the completion of the Sofoline Interchange, which started in May 2008, 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
According to the NDC, the sod cutting ceremony was in response to the recent anger that was vented on the Majority Leader and MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, whose constituents accused him of doing very little about the deplorable state of roads in the Suame
The NDC also observed that President Akufo-Addo has failed the fight against illegal mining scourge, which is very dominant in the Ashanti region.
They noted that the wanton destruction of the environment through the activities of galamsey is being spearheaded by officials in his government, including some MMDCE’s and other high-ranking officials of the New Patriotic Party.
The opposition NDC said for President Akufo-Addo to have paraded before the Overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and promise to tackle galamsey is an insult of the highest degree and called on the President to stop the display of hypocrisy and outright disrespect for the people of Ashanti region.