Former President John Dramani Mahama has come down hard on the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper East region, saying government has abandoned the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakon Road because it believes the contractors in charge of the project are aligned with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“All the good projects that we started— the roads, the hospitals, the schools, the electricity, the water [so] if we come we would continue from where we left off— have been abandoned. Since I started going round I noticed that most of those projects have been abandoned.
“The roads we were working on whilst I was [President], they have come to a standstill. It is because government is reluctant to pay the contractors. They believe that the contractors are NDC contractors. Many of the big construction companies have laid off workers. It’s not only in banks. Look at those who are working on the Bolga-Bawku Road. Today, are they working? They’ve laid all the workers off,” he said as a crowd of party supporters sighed with grief.
The former President was speaking to party delegates Wednesday in the Talensi Constituency as he began a four-day tour of the region for his re-election bid as the NDC’s presidential candidate for the 2020 general elections.
The 116-kilometre-long Bolga-Bawku-Pulmakon Road was awarded to Queiroz Galvão, a Brazilian firm, by in 2016 by the Mahama Administration at the contract sum of Gh¢612 million
“If you remember, in the Nyantakyi case, Nyantakyi said NDC contractors’ monies would rot. What did he mean by that? It means there is a certain suspicion in government that all the contractors who are working are supporters of NDC, so we won’t pay them. But when you don’t pay contractors you also stifle economic activities.
“Because it is when contractors are working that they are buying fuel, they are buying cement, they are buying iron rods, they are paying their workers, they are servicing their tipper trucks, they are paying SSNIT workers, they are hiring engineers. So, if you stop paying them and they park their vehicles, you can imagine the number of jobs you have lost through the construction of works not paid alone,” he added.
Hard Work would bring NDC back to power
Continuing, Mahama told party followers it was no longer time to agonise but to organise for the return of the NDC to power in 2020.
“In 2020, we are not going to say what we can’t do. We need to work hard to bring the NDC back to power,” he stressed as cheers from the audience boomed in the overflowing conference hall of the Oasis Hotel at Tongo. “So that NDC can come and alleviate the hardship that Ghanaians are facing.”
Mahama addressing delegates Wednesday at the Oasis Hotel in Talensi Constituency
“Come and save us! Come and save us!” a female voice screamed sonorously in the hall. It was Grace Nkaw, a notable party enthusiast in the region.
“I received calls from party grassroots supporters asking me not to decide not to run, urging me to run, to make my services available to the party. I considered it and said, ‘Well, let the members of the party decide. Let me put my name there. If the party endorses me, I will make my services available’,” Mahama disclosed.
“We have endorsed you already! Hundred percent! You don’t need to campaign! JM toaso!” reacted a middle-aged-looking man, wearing an NDC flag around his neck.
As of the time of filing this report, Mahama had arrived to a crowd of party supporters at Nangodi in the Nabdam Constituency. He is also scheduled to move next to the Bolgatanga East Constituency, the Bolgatanga Central Constituency and the Bongo Constituency on the first day of his tour.
He has in his company former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Emmanuel Opam-Brown Akolbire, MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr. Dominic Ayine, MP for Talensi, Benson Tongo Baba, former MP for Navrongo Central, Mark Owen Woyongo, MP for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, MP for Nabdam, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, former Upper East and Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru, MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo and MP for Bongo, Edward Bawa, among the regional executives of the party and some former government appointees.