Feature Article of Monday, 14 January 2013
Columnist: Dzidza, Peter Mawunyo
By (Peter Mawunyo Dzidza)
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Congratulations, Hon. Doe Adzaho, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana and native of Avenor-Ave in the Volta Region! I commend you for your sterling performance and contributions to national development, which has put the hitherto unknown Avenor-Ave in the national limelight.
You rose through the ranks as an ordinary backbencher in Parliament to a front role where you have served in various capacities and are currently elected as Speaker, the third most powerful position in the country.
Your election to this pedestal was received with mixed feelings, particularly by your political detractors, who see nothing good in your years in Parliament as a representative of the people of the Avenor-Ave constituency. Promotion, as the good book tells us, “cometh neither from the East, nor from the West nor from the South. But God is the Judge” (Psalm, 75; 6). And we know that “who Jah bless let no man curse.”
You were wholeheartedly accepted by the people of Avenor-Ave when you first appeared on the political scene in 1992; but little did you know that the welcome would be short-lived. In fact, by the close of your first term in Parliament in 1996, your own “Kitchen Cabinet” members plotted against you in a very bizarre manner, which can best be described in a local parlance as “Avenor PHD” syndrome.
This planned and orchestrated “Avenor Pull him Down” act resulted in stiff opposition from no less a person than the former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Sogakope and Akatsi, Mr. P. K. Agbalekpor, whose candidature was well accepted by prominent members, opinion leaders and chiefs of the area, making it possible for him to contest you as an independent candidate.
The electoral defeat suffered by Mr. Agbalekpor made your opponents begin to strategize. Your very close friends and families, who were also disillusioned with regard to your administrative style, joined the popular chorus and now you must face them in various elections as independent parliamentary candidates and at times parliamentary candidates on the ticket of another political party. When they realized how futile their actions were, they resorted to the politics of vilification, vindictiveness, and smear campaigns, leading to their ridiculing you as “Avenor Mugabe.”
As a political observer, it is interesting for me to note that L.I. 1470, which established the Akatsi District Assembly, came into force on 10th March 1989, making it one of the newly established district assemblies in Ghana. By 1992, when the Fourth Republican Constitution was promulgated, the Avenor-Ave had no viable economic activity and could best be described as one of the poorest and most deprived districts in the country. That wasn’t a good tag.
Under your 20 years’ tenure as the MP, the Avenor-Ave district has seen unprecedented achievements and your name will forever be remembered because of your immense contributions towards the development of the area. Under your leadership, the irrigation dam constructed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, which is about three miles away from the city, served as a source of potable water for the people of Akatsi and its immediate environs, and became a history in itself. This was made possible by the drilling of more than 60 boreholes across the district, making guinea worm disease—once synonymous with this region—a thing of the past.
Other sectors of the economy such as education, electricity, roads, sports, health, sanitation, and agriculture, as well as human resource development, were also not left out. Through your singular effort, you have enhanced the image of the district.
Your achievements in the educational sector over the past 20 years are unprecedented in the history of Avenor-Ave. Despite the construction of two major secondary schools in the district under your term in office, your effort in this sector was crowned by the NDC government's policy of the Removal of Schools Under Trees, which was extended to some poor communities such as Monone, Avadre, Torve, Yaluvi, Havi, Wlitey and Agbedrafor just to mention a few.
These communities benefited immensely from newly constructed 6-unit classroom blocks with ancillary facilities, making primary education very much accessible and affordable to the poor and vulnerable. In areas of high school enrollment such as Akatsi Township, Avenorpeme, and Avedakpa, 12-unit classroom blocks were constructed in each school to help eliminate the shift system.
To eradicate the perennial shortage of teachers in the district, 113 indigenous teacher-trainees were sponsored, under your influence, at the College of Education, Winneba to be trained and retained in the district upon completion of their various courses of study. In terms of sports and games, you have distinguished yourself by collaborating with the District Assembly to donate over 50 jerseys and footballs to some second division football clubs and schools in the area.
Other sectors of the economy were also not left out. It is on record that in 2009 alone, roughly 24 feeder roads were rehabilitated in the district. These included feeder roads from the Adrakpo junction through Avedo to Dagbamate. In terms of energy, you served us well too. Before your assumption of office as MP in 1992, only Akatsi in Avenor-Ave was connected to the national grid; but as we speak today, more than 232 communities in the area have been connected to the national grid within the last three years alone.
In terms of health, you have not only supervised the construction of the first ever government Health Post in the district but you have also worked towards its upgrading to a district hospital with about GH?70,000 worth of mothers’ lodges and Gh?30,000 worth of waiting sheds constructed to enhance healthcare delivery in the district. Further, other communities such as Wute, Avenorpeme, Dakpa, and Avenorpedo have also received their share of development projects in the form of accredited government health posts complete with nurses’ quarters.
These facilities make it possible for the young Avenor-Ave district to rub shoulders with more established districts in the area such as Keta, South Tongu, and Ketu, which your detractors more often than not used as a benchmark to denigrate you in terms of development. You rose above all to prove those cynics wrong. You will, therefore, be remembered with mixed feelings in the district; but to some of us, you are a true son and a hero of the land. Congratulations!
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