Politics of Tuesday, 13 November 2012
The huge rib of the umbrella party, the National Democratic Congress, has crashed the fate of the trembling feet of the elephant, holding the New Patriotic Party, quashing its flair for effective campaigns towards the 2012 general elections in the Ablekuma Central constituency.
Whereas the NDC organized a mammoth rally over the weekend at the Town Council line park in the constituency, where a number of party bigwigs were in attendance, the NPP’s Agogo (a community in the constituency) rally which preceded the NDC’s rally was a complete failure. Only a pocket of the NPP supporters, including the constituency executives could be seen wandering at the rally grounds.
While the NDC supporters were busily engaged in various campaign strategies to solicited more votes, a few of the NPP supporters were seen sitting idly at the party’s constituency, eyeing the Greater Accra regional ministers convoy.
These, coupled within other indications, pointed to the fact that the NPP’s chance of springing a surprise in the elections, at which the party is reported to have targeted 80 percent of the votes, could be a hoax.
Hundreds of residents from about 26 communities in the constituenc, mostly NDC supporters dressed in party colors, stormed Ablekuma Central and lined-up along the street to give the Greater Accra regional Minister, Hon Laryea Afotey Agbo and H.E Alhaji Said Sinare, Ghana ambassador to Egypt a rousing welcome.
Addressing teaming supporters at the rally grounds, both the regional minister and the Ambassador stated that, the president Mahama led government had done in four years exceedingly more than the President Kufuor led government did in its first four years.
They recounted the removal of schools under trees, distribution of free exercises books and laptops, free uniforms, the massive infrastructural development across the country in terms of road construction, construction of school buildings, dormitories and clinics as unprecedented achievements in the history of the fourth republic.
Hon Afotey Agbo mentioned the migration of workers onto the single spine salary structure, the transformation of the economy, employment opportunities via LESDEP and the NYEP, laws to protect the oil revenue amongst others as achievements under the President Mahama led government has chalked even in the face of the global economic meltdown.
‘One significant thing in the health sector is the purchase of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipments which government has purchased for all the major hospitals across the country to enhance health care. This government is visionary indeed,’’ he said.
On his part, the incumbent Member of Parliament, Hon Theophilus Tetteh Chaie asked Ghanaians not to be deceived by that promise by the NPP flag bearer, Nana Akufo Addo. According to him Ghanaians do not suffer from amnesia to forget the incessant strike action of teachers over unpaid salary in the erstwhile Kufuor administration of which Nana Akufo-Addo played an active role.
The MP indicated that the free SHS policy cannot be implemented immediately even if the NPP should win the December polls because according to him, several consultations with all stakeholders are needed for a successful implementation.
(The Al-Hajj’s Editorial 13th November 2012)
These Road Closures!
The phenomenon of some Accra residents blocking all manner of roads and erecting sheds right in the middle of those roads to mourn their dead, outdoor their newly born children and fete themselves has been a bane with us for some time now. If the canker is irksome, the fact that people wailed against it but little has been done to check the illegal practice for years is shockingly disappointing, especially these days when the frequency of numbers of cars on our roads have created traffic jams virtually on all the roads in the capital city.
Among the ardent campaigners against the wanton disregard for traffic regulations is The Al-Hajj and, the paper has written specifically to call those blocking the roads to order and to nudge the law enforcers to be up- and-doing. It is unfortunate that the authorities have done little to curb the nuisance.
At most month-endings, many of the rods including the busier one are closed on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, for the convenience of the few who engage themselves in funerals, out-dooring and fanfares. Over the weekend The Al-Hajj noticed the closure of such busy road as the one connecting the Bubuashie roundabout with Kaneshie and Bubuashie that borders the Catholic Church.
During the last Easter and Eid al-Fitr, several roads were blocked for conferences, crusades, conventions and street connivers. In some cases, the funeral people and jolly makers annexed the lorry parks that were supposed to be the parking lot for hundreds of vehicles, waiting places for passengers and market for hawkers and sellers.
The Al-Hajj, today, reiterates its call on the department of Urban Roads, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and all relevant law enforcers to stop the closure of roads for exercises other that road repairs and towing of vehicles wrecked as a result of accidents.
Assembly members, Chiefs and opinion leaders should use the authority and the communication systems available to them to discourage the practice and get recalcitrant offenders punished. They can actually collaborate with the Department of Urban roads and the AMA. Chiefs and family heads that are in the habit of declaring roads in their communities closed should desist from the illegal practice themselves; else they should not be exempted from the prescribed punishments.
Those who want to organize social events but do not have the suitable space should go and hire the nearest convenient place. They should not presume such open expanses of land as lorry roads and other avenues to be free; the reality is that blocking those roads invariably inconveniences drivers, motorists, passengers and pedestrians.
It is obvious that places of convenience will become less and less adequate as the population ‘explodes’ but something can be done to contain the situation. Let the Metropolitan assembly and its sub-structures plan ahead to allocate places for such meetings and not give all plots out for the building of houses and stores.
Entrepreneurs should position themselves properly to develop meeting grounds at which they can charge competitive but affordable fees for people to organize their events. In the kind of capitalist world we live today, nothing is free; everything is exchanged for money and the investor with the right strategy can make his profit and satisfy one or other need of society.
It must be underscored that the fact that space for meeting in a community is difficult to come by, the fact that hiring a dance or cinema halls is expensive and the fact that the space available is say, a church auditorium is inadequate gives no one any justification to close the roads or highways for use.
Apart from the inconvenience the residents and commuters face, those roads closures cause accidents and given an unfortunate impression about us to the tourist and the potential foreign investors. This practice must stop now!