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General News of Thursday, 6 April 2017


Akufo-Addo stuck between three regions

On Friday April 7, the president will be three months in office, inching close to hundred days, but it appears Nana Akufo-Addo, is governing only three regions.

He is stuck in the Flagstaff House in the Greater Accra Region; the seat of government, from where he visits the Ashanti Region, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) stronghold and his home region, Eastern Region, if he is not out of the country.

Apart from his presence at the 60th Anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School in the Eastern Region on Saturday, February 11, 2017, Mr. Akufo-Addo, has on countless times visited Kyebi, for a Thanksgiving Church Service for his election as President and also to a visit to the gravestone of his grand uncle Dr. J.B. Danquah.

Apart from the aforementioned regions, the president is yet to visit any of the seven regions to work or inspect ongoing projects, particularly those embarked upon by the John Mahama administration.

This is a man who claims he is in a hurry, but it appears he is in a hurry only in three regions and not the rest of the country.

The last time he toured some of the seven regions was in December to say “Thank You”, days after he was declared winner of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Since that time, little has been heard as far as the Volta, Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Western Region and Central regions are concerned.

Meanwhile, there are several projects on-going in these regions, which were initiated by the erstwhile John Mahama government.

During the 2016 campaign and shortly after his victory, President Akuf-Addo, promised to continue with the many developmental projects initiated by the Mahama government, but with his first 100-days fast approaching, he appears not ready to visit some of these projects sites to inspect progress of work.

It appears visiting roads, hospital, interchanges, airports, schools and others, will amount to acknowledging his predecessor, whom he had condemned for doing nothing for the country.

In the Greater Accra Region where he is often based, several projects have been initiated and left by the immediate past government.

One of such project is the Construction of the Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) by Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL). There are similar projects in almost all the capitals and towns nationwide, especially Kasoa interchange, Tamale, Wa and Ho airports.

His “elephant size” 110 appointees most of whom have been vetted and approved by Parliament, have limited themselves to their offices, while these projects are continued anyhow.

Last week, the President paid a three day visit to the Ashanti Region, but failed to visit any of the project sites.

In that region alone, massive infrastructural projects that are underway include, Kajetia Market, the Military hospital, second to the 37 Military hospital in Accra, cocoa road projects, as well as several other road, water, and school projects.

The visit which was centred in Kumasi, was to calm the nerves of NPP militia group, Delta Force and not to connect with the people and learn about their primary problems as many Ghanaians were made to believe.

The group draw their powers from the regional chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako aka Chairman Wontumi.

Delta Force, had a week before President Akufo-Addo’s visit, forcibly ousted his appointee for the position of regional security coordinator, George Adjei from his office at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) spilling blood and damaging state properties in the process.

The action of the group, was seen as an attempt to usurp the powers of the 73-year-old president leading to his hurriedly organized visit under the guise of going to thank them for their support.

While on the 3-day visit to Kumasi, Nana Akufo-Addo, is reported to have said he would deal with vigilante groups who are threatening the peace of Ghana.

He assured the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II that, he would deal with the lawlessness in the country.

“There are a few things, Delta [force] and other issues that are unpleasant, but we are working to deal with those issues to ensure peace and understanding in Kumasi, Ashanti Region and the whole country.

I will not ignore such issues. The law applies to everyone in Ghana. I know it is of concern to you, but do not worry, we will ensure that everything is resolved”, he is reported to have said.

His support in the Ashanti Region, had shrunk according to The Herald sources. The usual unprecedented crowd that often follows him anytime he visited that part of the country as NPP flagbearer, has shockingly reduced.

Just a day after his visit to Kumasi, another group, Invisible Forces on Monday stormed the Eastern Regional offices of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), forcibly locking the office of the regional manager.

The Police in the president’s home region as usual, looked on helplessly and allowed them to escape.

According to media reports, the heavily built men numbering 20, said they could not work with the said regional manager who they argue is not from their party, the NPP.

It was the same Invisible Forces that were blamed for the Kintampo Water Falls disaster leading to 17 deaths.

The thugs had taken charge of the site after the NPP was declared winners of the December 7, 2016 elections.

They had no expertise in the management of the place. The absence of the swimmers and rescue team to save people from drowning, led to the untimely death of the 17 students.

It is argued that, if the radical group had not sacked the tourist guides, who had been trained for that purpose, they could have prevented the school children from nearing the water falls, when it was about to rain, and did rain heavily.

Elsewhere, the president is quoted to have said “It will not be under my watch that people will take the law into their own hands, neither will it be under my watch that the laws of our land will not be enforced. That will never happen. The law will work without fear or favour”.

This appears to be far from the reality as private individuals and ex-government appointees, have even had their vehicles snatched from them at various times of the day. Some were rudely awoken from their bed.