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Opinions of Friday, 23 March 2018

Columnist: Kwabena Budu-Annor

What about the other side, Mr. President?

I decided not to go on about this anymore because I felt it was a lost cause. A lost cause in the sense that it’s been exactly 174 days since my colleagues and I brought the world’s attention to a disaster yet to unfold. It is rather unfortunate that after copious attempts to get the local government as well as stakeholders on the district level involved, the whole campaign has proved to be futile.

Per nature’s design, the little small voice in my head has persistently told me to botch the idea of sharing my misgivings and grievances once again. However, I believe breaking my silence has been long overdue if any headway is expected to be made on this issue. Firstly, I’d have failed myself as an upcoming journalist if indeed I’d heeded to the remedy served up by my mind. Not to talk of those who probably look up to me seeing me as a coward who shied away from an issue that needed my involvement the most. For me, the final straw was seeing the traders situated near the president’s home residence being evicted as per protocol by the National Security to ensure the safety of the commander-in-chief.

For starters, I’d rather not touch on that subject but its relativity will reflect as I progress. I am filled with grief each day when I use the route in front of the president’s house to get to my hostel. Partly because people’s lives have been turned upside down and the other part because we have certainly lost it as a country. We often lament white supremacy and what have you but we live in societies where our own kind suppress and make others seem inferior just so they can enjoy their respective lives. Just a few meters away on the other side of the president’s Nima residence is this damaged drainage system. Just as my friend and myself narrated in the Facebook post, it is used by commuters and a lot of school children, mostly those of the nearby DeYoungsters International School.

After various media organizations getting a coverage of it, the situation remains unchanged whereas the condition of the road and sewage system worsen by the second. A day does not go by without my self and my friend wondering what our fates will be should the gutter and road whose structural integrity has been compromised give in. Whereas the president enjoys in his placid, serene, and heavily-guarded place of abode, we are forced out of our rooms to stand outside while praying that no mishap befalls us whenever it rains.

Such an abrupt threat exists, yet it is the president’s residence that should be rid of harmless structures from which many make a living. With all political affiliations and biases aside and, with any party cloak torn down, I’d endeavor each and everyone to peruse the chronicle above with sheer and unembellished logic. Shouldn’t the resources and manpower be rather dispatched to help stop a looming catastrophe, for once? Shouldn’t our safety and security also be prioritized as well? And, finally, being cognizant to the fact that the means are available, don’t we also deserve a lightning-quick response to a pressing issue when we call on the man we’ve mandated to look out for our needs?

What about the other side, Mr. President?