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Politics of Sunday, 30 August 2020


Bawumia accused of claiming ‘ghost projects’ in ghost communities in Nabdam

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Ghana’s biggest opposition political party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has slammed Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia for citing two communities and some projects said to be nonexistent in Nabdam, a district in the Upper East Region, when he showcased recently some physical projects he claimed the government had initiated across the country.

A loud and rigorous scrutiny, led by the main opposition party, has been part of the fallouts trailing the claims made by the Vice President since he told the government’s success story in August in a televised town hall meeting held in the nation’s capital, Accra, with about three months to the general elections.

Using a state’s delivery tracker website as a point of reference, Bawumia, according to the NDC, mentioned an emergency ward with a theatre at Nangodi (the Nabdam District’s capital) as well as a road said to be under construction at “Kongo-Soe” in the district, construction and maintenance of the Kongo-Damolgo Road and 10 boreholes drilled at “Buuri Yakin” in the same district among the projects he credited to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the town hall meeting.

Reacting to Bawumia’s claims, the NDC executives in the Nabdam Constituency told journalists at a news conference convened at Nangodi on Thursday that two communities mentioned by the Vice President did not exist and that a number of the projects he flaunted as the NPP Government’s achievements were either non-existent or were projects executed by the NDC in the Nabdam Constituency but were passed off by the Vice President in the town hall meeting as the NPP’s own.

“For the purpose of the records, we wish to state unequivocally and without mincing words that the Emergency Ward at Nangodi was put up by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam, Mark Kurt Nawaane, in 2017 with an amount of Gh¢230,000.00. This is common knowledge even to any ordinary citizen in Nabdam, including every rational NPP faithful.

Why must the NPP struggle to use the Honourable MP’s achievements for their political gain even without acknowledging same? If this is not shame, then, the NPP must be living in a different world. What can the NPP say or boast of in terms of construction of infrastructure on health in the Nabdam Constituency?

“The so-called road under construction in Kongo-Soe is a welcoming piece of news— though just 1 kilometre, which does not make economic sense. However, all attempts to locate this town to ascertain the level of construction remains a mystery and a mirage among the good people of Nabrug and its surrounding communities. It is elementary knowledge to inform our brothers in the NPP that there is no such community in Ghana let alone construction of a 1-kilometre road in any part of Kongo. The Kongo-Damolgo Road is not under any construction or maintenance works.

So, how did it find its way into your tracker as an achievement by this insensitive NPP Government? They claim they have drilled 10 boreholes at Nyogbare. Not even a single borehole has been drilled there. The NPP have failed us and we cannot continue to trust them,” the NDC said in a statement read by the party’s Communications Officer in the Nabdam Constituency, James Tenga.

The statement added: “The NPP seeks to continue to deceive the discerning electorate. They should be charitable enough to credit the people with some wisdom by mentioning non-existing projects in existing communities but not non-existing projects in non-existing geographical locations.”

'NPP Government seizing my projects— MP for Nabdam'

The MP for Nabdam featured at the Thursday’s news conference alongside the immediate-past District Chief Executive (DCE) of Nabdam, Vivian Anafo, the party’s Director of Elections in the constituency, John Paul Azumah, and the NDC’s Nabdam Constituency Chairman, Zuri Tetteh.

When he took his turn to address the press, the angry-looking MP dressed the Vice President down, describing him as one whose “intelligence has been overhyped”.

“This is a very sad day for me personally. And I see this as an attempt to probably turn this country into a one-party state. Look at the NPP, look at the amount of money that they have borrowed, that gargantuan amount of money that they have borrowed. Indeed, if it was supposed to be shared constituency by constituency, the Nabdam [constituency] would get around Gh¢600 million.

If they had shared the amount of money they have borrowed and Nabdam gets even Gh¢300 million out of this amount, we would have turned Nabdam into a little London. And yet with this 135 billion they have borrowed, adding to our debts, they can’t account for a single health centre within the four years.

And when the Member of Parliament, who represents the NDC, builds and also hopes to use it in his campaign, you are seizing the MP’s projects and adding it to yours.

“There is something that is not even captured in the Communications Officer’s document. And when I see those things, I’m sometimes tempted to think that the intelligence of Bawumia and his team have been overhyped. If you look at the tracker, one of the things that have been stated there [is] a mud structure built for teachers at Gane-Asonge (in the Nabdam District), completed. Let us be honest. How can government give a contract to build a teachers’ bungalow with mud and it is stated like that and you captured it without asking any question, without giving a call to your DCE or your engineer on the ground? I’m not looking down on a mud house, please. But I’m looking at government’s resources and the government of the NPP stating that the teachers’ bungalow is a mud structure that has been completed. This is why I’m saying that we have overhyped our Vice President. In actual fact, this Vice President is not doing his image anything good,” Dr Nawaane stated.

'Govt tracker website inconsistent on Nangodi, Pelungu market sheds'— NDC

The NDC executives noted further that the government’s delivery tracker website also bore some inconsistencies with the figures of some market sheds the Vice President said had been constructed at Nangodi and Pelungu, a strong business core of the Nabdam District.

According to the NDC, the tracker website says 10 market sheds have been erected at Nangodi and Pelungu, and then in the same breath says that 6 market sheds have been put up in the same two communities.

“Their tracker also mentioned a community in the district. We are still looking for that community in the district. They mentioned ‘Buuri Yakin’ in Nyogbare. There is no community like that. They claim they drilled 10 boreholes there. A community is mentioned; you can’t even locate the so-called community in your area let alone to track the so-called project that the tracker has mentioned,” added the NDC’s Nabdam Constituency Youth Organiser, Francis Tobig, as about every individual in the party’s conference room, repeatedly pronouncing the ‘strange’ name to themselves with emphasis, laughed at how ‘strange’ it sounded in their respective ears— ‘Buuri Yakin’.

The NDC officials ended the day by taking the journalists present on a tour to the emergency ward at Nangodi where a plaque engraved long ago on the front wall of the facility confirmed the project was built by the MP for Nabdam.

The tour was extended to the Kongo-Bongo-Beo Road where a project signboard, planted on one side of the terrible-looking road, identified the untarred stretch as “Kongo-Soe Road”— a name the NDC says does not exist anywhere in the district. Besides, there was no sign of any construction work having started or taking place on that road as of the time the tour was undertaken on Thursday.