Opinions Wed, 10 Nov 2010

Bolga Fiasco,Put The Blame On President Mills

I was in Bolgatanga purposely to attend the climax of the Upper East @ 50 anniversary. This was my first visit there and I was amazed at the beauty and peaceful nature of the Bolgatanga metropolis. I just couldn’t understand how Bawku turned out to be a sharp contrast with Bolga in terms of the peaceful nature. The people are lovely, and it was refreshing to see young ladies riding scooters, this is

something you wouldn’t see down south in Accra, It was such a culture shock, I just stood gazing at these beautiful ladies zooming down the road on their scooters . I took the opportunity to visit the acclaimed tourist hot spots in the Upper East Region. The Paga crocodile pond located in Paga area was the first tourist site I visited. For the first time in my life I touched a live 7 ft crocodile, initially I was scared the crocodile will snap at me but it turned out to be very comporting, maybe this was perhaps it knew its meal, a poor chicken was guaranteed. From Paga I drove to the Pikworo slave route which is just a few minutes from the Paga pond, the tour guide narrated an emotional story about how our ancestors were dehumanized, I was touched. From there I traveled further to the outskirt of Navrongo to view the irrigation projects and plantations which was started under the Acheampong regime, I was impressed by the large tract of irrigated crops and vegetables. I finally proceeded to the fascinating rocky tongo hills, the landscape is amazing, infact I was spell bounded when I saw huge rocks which can serve as canopies, it was such a spectacular sight to see caves and natural rock shelters , an excellent place for holidays.

I headed back to my hotel in Bolgatanga to prepare for the big event , that is the durbar of the chiefs and people of the Upper Easterners on the following day. Saturday finally came and I made my way to the Golden Jubilee grounds, I was amazed at the colorful spectacle. The chiefs were breathtaking, the dancers were simply awesome. My affable president arrived about an hour later this was exactly 11:30am with his motorcade, for the first time I saw president Mills, such an adorable man, I was surprised he looked much smaller than I thought, so I wondered if president Mills is of that stature, how then will Mr Akuffo Addo look like.

Then Mr President made his speech, what has today turned out to be the so called infamous or perhaps controversial speech. Our president had the unique opportunity to market this beautiful but impoverished region, he had the unique opportunity to visit these exciting tourists attractions with the media at his disposal but it never happened. Imagine if the president visited all these tourists hotspots , can you imagine the spotlight, will you be able to quantify the benefits this will bring to the region.

Imagine if the president spent just three minutes of his time to talk about the tourists attractions and invites Ghanaians to come over and savor this beauty. Can you imagine the short term and long term benefits and how this will create wealth and employment for them. The headline of the state Newspaper, daily graphic on 8/11/10 reads, “ time up for fear mongers” president declares at Bolga durbar, the daily guide reads “ Mills lashes Kufour for doing nothing”. virtually all the electronic media on Monday were inundated with talkshows, phone in radio shows, and text messages read on air were about fear mongers, fear and panic and virtually nothing positive was heard about the Upper East anniversary. I was so disappointed but I wasn’t shocked, this is because when president Mills made those statements there, I instantly knew he has destroyed this glorious opportunity he had to market that Region. I wouldn’t blame the news papers and the electronic media because the presidents statements about fear mongers overshadowed everything, the president did not care about the repercussions. I wonder the kind of people who advise president Mills or write his speeches, they are slowly drowning our president. They should know there is time for politics and there is time for leisure and time for business and there is time to be a statesman and of course time to talk tough and time to respect and revere events. The upper Easterners were happy to receive the good old president but they will never forgive president Mills for promoting fear mongers and fear and panic. The people around president Mills are not helping him at all, If I were him I will do what the Liberian president recently did or perhaps Mr president is probably a very stubborn president. Mr president you owe the upper Easterners an apology.

Columnist: Mukah, Kofi