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Welcome President Mahama to the abandoned Sissala East Constituency

Thu, 7 Jul 2016 Source: Abdul-Fatawu, Fuseini

During the course of the 2012 elections, president Mahama came to the capital of the Sissala East constituency and made several promises. Prior to his coming to Tumu, the euphoria waiting for his arrival was splendid. The then vice president Mahama didn't also disappoint the people. He made them to understand the reasons why they must vote for him. He being a northerner was the first thing the people must remember. He made them to understand that since Dr. Limann, no northerner has been a president and as such voting for him would be a case of doing a favour to a northern brother. He equally made the people to understand the historical link between the Sissalas and the Gonjas. There was a comic relief when the people started to call him a slave and he also said the Sissalas are rather his slave. It was an interesting interaction between them that some felt it's a religious necessity to support president Mahama.

The day of the elections came and the people of Sissala East constituency never disappointed the president and his NDC. For the first time in the history of the fourth Republic, the NDC won both the presidential and the parliamentary elections in the Sissala East constituency. In fact, it was the first time the NDC won the presidential elections in the constituency. The divisive and unpopular parliamentary candidate of the NDC then, Honourable Alijata also rode on the president's name and goodwill to surprisingly win the seat. This is the belief and the trust the people of the Sissala East have for president Mahama. The love for him then was something none of us could describe. It was just practically difficult to campaign or talk against president Mahama.

The elections was over and the historic euphoria had subsided. The people expected some positive actions from the president. It was here that the people started seeing a different person. The actions they were seeing wasn't that of the brother they thought of.

It started with the appointment of the DCE of the area. The president have to appoint a DCE for us only after a demonstration from a section of the youth in the district. For over a year, the district had no DCE and the Presidency seems not to care. This had not settled down well and the President was invited to the annual parigbelle festival of the people of the Sissala East district. The president refused to come and for three years now, the president never made an attempt to come to the district or any of the subsequent Parigbelle festivals. The president's image would be used to invite dignitaries for the festival only for it to end up being a wild goose chase. The people always go back to their various villages shattered and disappointed.

Surprisingly, former president Kuffour who isn't a northerner used to visit this district yearly during his two term administration. Late president Mills who is also a southerner also visited this land immediately he won the election. President Mahama who is a brother, father, playmate, "our slave" and fellow northerner never visited this land since he was elected president. Now we are in 2016 and some few months to elections and we've now heard the president wants to visit us. Is this how the president has to pay us back for the love we had for him? Is this how the president has to make us sad and disappointed for building our trust in Him? Or is it because we have the legendary "short memories?"

Ideally we wouldn't have been much worried if there had been developments in the land. We would have at least said that even though he isn't visiting us he has been working hard to develop us. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be working well for us. We have some of the poorest roads in the country. Take for example the road from Tarsor to Tumu. The road is so damaged that even the donkeys and donkey carts struggle to walk on it. We can't just talk about how cars, lorries, motorbikes or the tricycles manage to survive. Coincidentally, that road passes through the hometown of the NDC MP, Honourable Alijata. The same applies for the road from Wa passing through Bugubelle to Tumu. Also, a big community like Challu, with a population of over 5000 has no clinic and even the students at the JHS has no classroom to study. The same applies to Tarsor - Kulfuo. In fact, the MP was alleged to have slapped the NDC chairman just because of the lack of JHS school block in Tarsor - Kulfuo.

The problems of the district are so numerous that this little piece can't enumerate. The truth is that the transformation agenda of president Mahama and the NDC is yet to get to us. The pain of betrayal from a loved one is what we now feel for the president. We kept our hopes in him, trusted him unconditionally and relied on him to help reduce our numerous challenges for us. But the president has ended up destroying us and making us worse than before. In truth, the people we thought weren't our brothers and were southerners ended up helping us the more. May be, since this is an election year and the president being fully aware that we have short memories, this his coming would perhaps let us forget some of the hardships we are continuously going through. May be the president needs to pass through the road from Tarsor to Tumu before he would know that he has been performing below our expectations.

I shall, In sha Allah, be back...

Fuseini Abdul-Fatawu

Columnist: Abdul-Fatawu, Fuseini