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Opinions of Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Columnist: Abanga, Moses

Bolgatanga municipality needs a transformational leader

Luck is not always on the side of the good people of Bolgatanga when it comes to selection and appointment of leaders especially political leadership. As a matter of fact, a comparison of Bolgatanga with some of the regional capitals in the north shows that it is lagging behind as it is placed at the bottom of development by any measurement and scoring formula.
The underdevelopment of the municipality is not neglect of successive governments but lack of transformational and visionary leadership. Bolga wouldn’t have been where it is today if some of the leaders who had what it takes to drive an accelerated development of Bolgatanga municipality were allowed to stay a little longer in office as Municipal Chief Executives. These personalities include Hon. Rockson Bukari and Hon. Epsona Ayamga from the two opposing political parties, the NPP and the NDC respectively. It was under the good leadership of Hon. Rockson Bukari that the now well- cherished Bolgatanga Timber market was moved to its current place amidst series of protest. It was also under his tenure of office that Bolgatanga was adjudged the neatest or cleanness town in the whole country. Unfortunately, these gains were not consolidated and sustained with his exit from power. In other words, the development of Bolgatanga municipality came to a halt when this great leader was dismissed by the powers that be.
When the NDC government under the late Prof. Mills took over power in 2008, the learned Professor listened to the cry of the good people of Bolgatanga for a transformational leader and responded positively by appointing a very committed party man, an inspirational and visionary leader in the person of Hon. Epsona Ayamga to preside over the development agenda of Bolgatanga municipality. His appointment by the President and the one-touch approval by honourable members of the Assembly did not surprise anybody because he was a hardworking, down to earth and very approachable constituency chairman of his party for 15 years. The records are also there to prove that he was the sole financier of his party when the party was in opposition for 8 years. Under the inspiring leadership of Hon. Epsona, the once stagnated development of Bolgatanga gave way to an accelerated development of the municipality. Several schools, CHIPS Compounds, functioning street lights among others are visible signs of his achievements within the very short period he stayed in office as Municipal Chief Executive (MCE). Like Hon. Rockson Bukari, Hon. Epsona had very good vision and pragmatic ideas for the holistic development of the municipality. He had planned to relocate the Animal Market to Soe area, construct circular roads and to fence the street lights with concrete culverts to reduce the rate at which these lights are destroyed by vehicles in cases of accidents. He had another innovative idea of uprooting the old street lights which stand idle at various locations in the township, working on them and using them to extend street lightening system to surrounding communities in the municipality. His party members will tell you that Hon. Epsona used his creative leadership ideas to generate an amount of Ghc 60,000.00 for his party machinery to run effectively. Today, the story is totally different as the party’s coffers cannot boast of any resources beyond Ghc 2.50.
But again, Bolga and the NDC party were not lucky as this development oriented and focused man with qualities of transformational, inspirational and visionary leadership did not have the opportunity to drive the municipality’s development process beyond two years. The blame for the dismissal of this Bolgatanga political messiah must first be put on self-seeking individuals in the great NDC Party. From the very day hon. Epsona ascended to the throne of an MCE, his detractors never slept in pursuing a full PHD ( Pull Him Down syndrome). Hardly a day passed without these individuals falsely accusing him of what he knew nothing about. He was constantly and persistently vilified and crucified. A very strong and well packaged destructive rumour was widely circulated that he gave contracts to members of opposition party, sponsored 4 members of the opposition party to contest district assembly elections and bought 10 motor bikes for his girlfriends. When these allegations and accusations which later turned out to be frivolous and baseless failed to develop wings and fly to the seat of government, another wicked and very poisonous strategy was used. A petition signed by some ward chairmen under the strong influence of one Roland and ably supported by someone alleged to be a Member of Parliament was sent to an aide to the late President for his dismissal without the knowledge of the President. The cost of his dismissal to the development of Bolgatanga Municipality and that of his party is beyond calculation and imagination.
As it stands now thousands of citizens of Bolgatanga are praying for another opportunity for Hon. Rockson Bukari or Hon Epsona Ayamga to assume the leadership position of the municipality to finish the unfinished business and take the people out of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. But the governance arrangements of this country that run on the wheels of the Winner Takes All may not allow Hon. Rockson Bukari to be appointed as Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive by the current President of the Republic of Ghana. The hope of the people is now on the other visionary leader, Hon. Epsona Ayamga who, despite all that has been done against him, is still very much committed to his party and may not hesitate to bounce back to the seat of Bolgatanga MCE to carry out his practical and workable ideas for better development of the municipality.
It is on the basis of the above issues that we the members of Bolga First Group (BFG) wish to humbly draw the attention of the President to the cry of the people of Bolgatanga for a transformational leader. As the adage goes, “The Voice of the People is the Voice of God”

Signed
Abanga Moses
(Spokesperson)
Email: alangbota@yahoo.com

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