Bolgatanga — NORTHERN PATRIOTS in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) has vowed to continue its crusade for good governance under the local governance system, through transparency and accountability for effective development.
The President of NORPRA, a Bolgatanga-based pressure group, Mr. Bismark A. Adongo, said until leaders at the local government level made themselves available to the ordinary person in their localities, to interact with them and bring out their concerns for redress, his outfit would continue to pressurise them to do so, through accountability and transparency.
At separate fora with the public, municipal and district chief executives (M/DCEs), and members of parliament (MPs), from Bolgatanga, Nabdam, Bongo and Talensi, Mr. Adongo stated that the main purpose of creating the local government system was to offer the opportunity to the local people to contribute to the development of their localities.
Unfortunately, some of the M/DCEs were not accountable and transparent, and therefore did not make themselves available to the people they were serving, adding "The time has come when the ordinary person has to be considered in whatever we do."
According to him, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be a mirage, if leaders are not accountable and transparent in the manner in which they ran their irrespective local governments.
One of the purposes of the fora was to get the M/DCEs and MPs to respond to how internally generated funds, District Development Funds and the MP's Common Fund were being used, and what they had been used for, in all these municipal and district assemblies and constituencies.
At the Bolgatanga forum, the MCE, Mr. Isaac Nsoh Amoah, and the MP for Bolgatanga Central constituency, Mr. David Apasera, were conspicuously missing.
While the MP had a representative, the MCE snubbed the forum without notifying the organisers, NORPRA.
The story at Bongo was no different. Though the MP, Albert Abongo, was represented, the DCE, Thomas Asampana, was not, and also did not give prior notice to the organisers that he would not attend.
Mr. Clement Akasobs, Upper East Regional Organiser of the National Democratic Congress, who represented the MP, commended NORPRA for its immense role in ensuring good governance in the region.
He highlighted the developments the MP had brought to the constituency, in the areas of education, health, agriculture, road, electricity, among others.
At Talensi-Nabdam District, the DCE, Mr. Anaba K. Nabila, described the district as the fastest-developing district in the Upper East Region, with schools, teachers' quarters, ventilated improved pits, electricity, including the District Chief Executive's Office, built under the District Assembly Common Fund.
Mr. Nabila said government also allocated money for the building of markets in all the districts, and promised a number of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) projects in the district.
He assured the people that a number of projects, including construction of the Kongo-Tongo road, and electrification of five communities, would be tackled.
Despite the development in the area, the DCE said the district had some challenges such as poor internally generated funds, and entreated the people to pay taxes to gain more development.
Mr. John Akologo Tia, MP for Talensi, said MPs were not solely responsible for ensuring that the infrastructural needs of the people were met.
He disclosed that from 2004 to date, he had received a total amount of GH¢140,093.89 for four years and 3 months, to "support the development of education, through the construction of schools, and support the students at the basic, second cycle and tertiary levels, by providing learning materials/equipment and the payments of school fees."
Mr. Tia said he purchased exercise books for distribution to basic schools throughout the constituency.
School attendance registers, library books, school lamps were provided to all Junior High schools to assist pupils to study at night. This, according to him, was done in collaboration with the Talensi Rock Union (TRU).