Source: Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu /Today Newspaper
The continuous failure of the government of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to construct the Juapong-Adidome and Kpong-Aveyime roads in the North Tongu District of the Volta region has created uncomfortable health situation to the people of about eighty-five (85) communities in the district, Today has gathered.
Investigations conducted by Today show that it has now become an accepted norm to see heavily pregnant women being carried on motorbikes and bicycles in long distances to hospitals during labour.
This frightening situation, the paper gathered, was due to the deplorable state of roads in the district. The situation has further been compelled by the fact many commercial drivers have resolved not to ply the area because of the terrible nature of the roads.
Today further discovered that this development was not only limited to pregnant women, but also experienced by heavily sick persons in the towns and villages in the district.
And these towns are Volor, Amesiekorpe, Aglobakpa, Dadome, Workpoe, Dordikorpe, Adudornu, Adaxor, Aveyime, Battor, Abuvienu, Dofor-Adidome and Mepe.
In an interview with this reporter, a newly formed pressure group, Progressive North Tongu Youth for Action (PNTYFA,) fuming with anger, described as “failed and empty promises” made by President John Dramani Mahama and the member of Parliament (MP) for area, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa.
Consequently, the obviously angry group has given a 14-day ultimatum to the ruling government to, as a matter of urgency- fashion out measures to fix the deplorable roads in the district or face their wrath.
According to the group, the roads, particularly the Juapong-Adidome and Kpong-Aveyime in the district, have become death traps, making life extremely difficult for residents and drivers who ply on them.
President of PNTYFA, Mr. Ahetor Kofi Agbenorsi, indicated that the Mahama-led NDC government has “woefully neglected” North Tongu District for a very long time.
And that, according to the group, would force the chiefs and people in the district to stage a massive demonstration to protest the poor state of roads.
“Our pregnant women and sick persons are also dying as a result of the bad nature of roads in the district and so if we do not see any improvement on them then we will embark on a massive demonstration and we will make sure we sustain it till the right things are done,” he warned.
The group fumed that: “The president is behaving as if we the people of North Tongu district are not part of Ghana; our roads are very poor to the extent that residents always find it extremely difficult to ply on them to do their businesses.”
The group recalled that Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who is also a deputy Minister for Education in-charge of Tertiary Education, through President Mahama promised his constituents in the run-up to the 2012 polls that the NDC government would ensure that the Juapong-Adidome and Kpong-Aveyime roads were constructed.
The group further asserted that the risky nature of the said roads coupled with “extreme” poverty have been some of the major problems facing the district to which Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa and NDC party on several campaign platforms in 2012 promised to address but have done nothing for the last two-and-a-half-years.
Today gathered that former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) in partnership with the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA,) started funding the construction of the 55-kilometre road from Sokode-Gbogame-Juapong through Abutia and the 13-kilometre Sokode-Gbogame-Bame road, which shortened the distance between Ho and Hohoe, and Juapong-Adidome and Kpong-Aveyime.
The angry youth of Mepe, Volo, Battor, Aveyime, Dorfu-Adidome, Alabo, Amesiemekorfe and Juapong within the North Tongu Constituency wondered why Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa and President Mahama have failed to construct the roads and also improve the living standards of the constituents.
The residents who thought Okudzeto-Ablakwa was their “saviour” as their past MPs like Mr. Austin Gamedoagba, and Mr. Charles Sename Hodogbey, failed them, said “ we have regretted having Okudzeto as our MP”
Meanwhile, when Today reached the North Tongu Constituency Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Moses Amenudor via telephone, he hinted of the government’s commitment and preparedness to award the Juapong-Adidome and Kpong-Aveyime roads to contractors for work to begin on them.
He further hinted that the NDC government has added Juapong-Adidome road to the Eastern corridor roads and that, President Mahama would cut-the-sod in the coming days for work to begin.
He, therefore, called on the youth to suspend their intended demonstration, saying government was working around the clock to fix major deplorable roads in the district.
However, several attempts by Today to speak to Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa on the issue(s) proved futile as his cell phone was off as of the time of going to press.