Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, 04 March 2016
Some residents of Hohoe municipality in the Volta Region on Wednesday vented their spleen on Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads and Highways, for allegedly misleading President John Mahama over the Hohoe township roads in his (Mahama’s) recent State of the Nation Address.
President Mahama had created the impression that the construction of roads in the town was nearing completion, when there was no road construction going on. The residents have therefore turned their anger on Mr Fuseini who made an unannounced visit with a section of the media with intent to showcase the road projects, which they claim are unavailable.
President John Mahama, in his much-talked-about address, had said several road projects were ongoing in Hohoe to give the roads a facelift, but the residents say that is not true on the ground.
Hohoe roads were not the only projects the president goofed about. Several others in other regions and towns are non-existent, according to research, making residents to have a different picture about the president.
The obviously angry Hohoe residents described as ‘mischievous’ the obvious misrepresentation of their situation presented to the president.
“We’ve been deceived for long. We are not ready for such deceptions again,” one of the residents told Citi Fm.
Another charged, “If they are ready to tell us anything, they should come to the road and do it. Where they initially showed you, it is Hohoe to Lolobi road; it’s not Hohoe town road. There are other Hohoe town roads they are not taking you to. The NDC people here are deceiving you. They should send you to the town road instead.”
The residents claimed that the contractor (called Gohez) working on the Hohoe town road abandoned the project close to four years but when he heard about the impending visit of the minister, “he rushed to the chief’s palace before your coming to convince the chief to talk well in his favour.
“Please, they are not doing the town road so what the president said was false. He was totally misled.”
DAILY GUIDE learnt that funding had not been provided for the contract, leading to the contractor vacating the site.
The stretch from the First Ghana Building Society junction to Gbi Kpeme suburb of Hohoe was given on contract to Gohez during the late President Mills’ era.
However, not even the drains have been completed. Work on this road stalled even before the demise of President Mills. No contractor has since been seen on site.
The Roads and Highway Minister later said, “I have directed that they summon him (contractor) to a meeting in Accra on Thursday for us to assess his capacity to complete the work. So if we are convinced that he lacks the capacity to complete the work, we might have to look for an alternative contractor to do the work.”
Even before the minister’s visit, the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Volta Regional Chairman, John Peter Amewu, had exposed President Mahama over his assertion that the roads in the municipality were almost completed.
According to Mr Amewu, a former MCE for Hohoe, it was rather the NPP government that constructed most of the critical road networks in the municipality and insisted that the NDC could not reap where they had not sown.
Writing on the topic, “Akufo-Addo was right about Hohoe town roads” on Facebook recently, the NPP regional chairman said, “The 46-kilometre road from Pepesu to Nkwanta was funded by EU under President Kufuor. The NPP had secured funding for the construction of the road before President Kufuor left office.”
He added, “The Golokwati-Hohoe road was constructed under NPP double seal (awarded to Rollider). All Hohoe town roads were constructed by the NPP. These include post office to electricity (awarded to GOHES Ltd); the district assembly to the electricity (awarded to GOHES Ltd); the post office square to the stadium (awarded to GOHES Ltd); the market to the hospital (awarded to GOHES Ltd); Zongo junction to Barclays (awarded to GOHES Ltd); and Post Office Square to St Francis College (awarded to GOHES Ltd).” “In all, about 7.2km of the town road was constructed under the NPP with chipping spray.”
He claimed further, “Under Mahama/NDC, the 300-metre hospital road in Hohoe is currently under construction at a very slow pace. This includes the construction of the side drains. This section of the town road was awarded under the NDC.”
He also added that “work on the other road network in Hohoe, involving the construction of drains at Kpeme, Bla and Abanse road [was] abandoned over a year ago, with the contractor having vacated the site.”