4 July 2012

Ghana: Something Ought to Give Gang of Four Shame the Nation


Accra — Will someone put this moribund administration out of its misery? It is unfortunate that we still have five months to wait before the next Presidential and Legislative elections. What this means is that we have to put up with an administration which specializes in building castles in the air, while on the ground, everything has gone to the dogs.

Anybody who has used the Teacher Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway would wonder whether this nation has a functioning administration. As you read this piece, trucks, buses and cars are stuck in the mud on the road, with the rains fully in session.

Meanwhile, we have a Road Minister, who recently courted publicity for accepting a brand new BMW seven series as a 'gift'. When Joe Gidisu was caught pants down, he told the nation that the vehicle was meant to be used to inspect road projects constructed incidentally by the same Chinese contractors, who are under contract to put bad roads in shape.

I will like to know from the Minister of Roads whether or not he has ever inspected that stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway. If he has, what has been his input into that road construction which has failed to respond to treatment for three and a half years?

Even if the Minister and his deputy have never used that stretch of road because they could afford to be airlifted to Kumasi anytime they wish, have they ever received a report on how deplorable the nation's leading road network has become?

It is high time men and women, given responsible positions become responsive to the social contract with the people of Ghana. I am suggesting here that someone should sue the Government of Ghana to justify why members of this moribund administration should continue to leave that stretch of the road in this deplorable state, to cause havoc to Ghanaian passengers using the road.

I am, by this article, kindly inviting public-spirited Ghanaian or civil society organizations to take this moribund administration to court, to account for its failure to complete the Teacher-Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway.

The state of the road is an embarrassment to all of us who cherish our nationality of this lovely country, tugged exactly at the centre of the earth. Not only is it an embarrassment, it is causing this nation a huge expenditure in revenue. Goods and services meant for most parts of the country travel through that treachery of a road network. Tear and wear of the various vehicles is also another reference point.

The quality of goods are affected by the delay, as well as the condition of those goods, before they reach their destinations. All passengers using the road network are at risk. This administration must be made to pay for the deliberate posture of not attending to the road as a necessary project.

For the attention of fellow Ghanaians, it is not only the Teacher-Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway that is feeling the brunt of the inaction of this moribund administration. The other three road networks, together with the one under reference gained notoriety not too long ago as the Gang of Four.

The Tetteh-Quarshie-Adenta stretch of the Accra-Aburi Road is still suffering under this administration. Drivers and their passengers are going through a lot of tear and wear because the road's construction is far from being brought to a conclusion.

The Sofoline Interchange in Kumasi is also awaiting completion three and a half years into the four year rule of the University Professor. Do you remember the Achimota-Ofankor section of the Accra-Kumasi Highway and the comedy staged by the President of the Republic over it?

In case the memory is playing tricks, I will remind you. It is the state of the Achimota-Ofankor Road that brought the statement from President John Evans Atta Mills that if he had access to GH¢90 million, he would not have used it for his campaign to get re-elected, as alleged by some members of the Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. He would have rather ploughed it to get the road construction concluded.

The Head of State added that the last time he used the road, the condition so shamed him that he had to bury his head in his palms, to avoid seeing the deplorable nature of it. This assertion is nearly one year old. The Sunyani congress was on July 2011.

One would have thought that a road network that had so shamed the Head of State, to the extent of bowing his head in shame, would have received emergency attention. The news is that nearly more than one year after that confession, the Ofanko-Achimota Road, and indeed all the Gang of Four are nowhere near commissioning.

For me as a social commentator, I am beginning to nurse the feeling that this administration does not care one hoot about the state of the Accra-Kumsi Highway, which is a major link with the rest of the country.

If this administration is not bothered about the state of the link between the capital city and virtually the rest of the country, what else is of importance to the Mills administration?

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that paying huge monies from the state treasury, couched as judgment debts, is beginning to take centre stage of the scheme of things of this administration. I am sorry if I have judged this administration harshly. But the blunt truth is that the energy with which state officials mount vigorous defence to justify doling out state resources to organizations and individuals, who make payment request on Government without concrete proof of work done, appears to be more robust than the attention our Ministers and other government officials give to matters of importance.

The Presidential and Parliamentary elections are five months away. Already, the airwaves are awash with advertisement extolling the achievements of this administration in the road, rail and other sectors of the economy.

These advertisements are contracted in the name of the state. Obviously, money from state coffers goes to pay for these advertisements. Apart from the fact that the claims of success are spurious, it is a clever ploy of getting the state to pay for what amounts to a party political broadcast.

This administration continues to make claims of building a 'Better Ghana.' But everywhere the nation is in ruins. An economy which is being driven to the ground is being touted as the fastest growing, not only in Africa, but the whole wide-world. It is of interest to note that we became Middle Income apparently when all of us were asleep.

It is beginning to get clearer that all this administration is concerned about is how to use the little resources of state to get themselves re-elected. I dare state that at the moment, the most important thing to this administration is how to remain in power after the December poll. And it is prepared to do anything and everything to ensure that the umbrella is hoisted at the Castle after January 7, 2013.

I bet my bottom pesewa that is what has informed the creation of more districts carefully choreographed to ensure that new constituencies to be created are in areas where the NDC is comfortable with the people's vote.

The appalling nature of the Gang of Four roads ought to be challenged in court. I am inclined to believe that it is only the court that would compel the Mills administration to do what is expected of it.

While we await a court hearing on these roads, Parliament would do well to summon Roads Minister Joe Gidisu, to tell the nation why the people of Ghana should tolerate the state of the Teacher Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway.

We are sick and tired of the propaganda on a 'Better Ghana' that is running this beautiful nation at the centre of the earth to the ground.

Copyright © 2012 Ghanaian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.