Will We (People Of Gonjaland) Not Be Ingrates Should We Again Vote Against Nana Addo?
Evidently, the people of Gonjaland and by extension the Savannah region rejected the presidential candidature of Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo in 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential elections in Ghana. Their refusal to endorse him as the president of Ghana was premised on the fact that former President Mahama who was the running mate to the flagbearer of the NDC in the 2008 elections and the presidential candidate of the NDC in the 2012 and 2016 elections is a son of the land.
Truly, we saw the 2008 and 2012 elections especially as a golden opportunity for our very own to be at the helm of affairs. In fact, the political euphoria was charged and many sons and daughters of the land who had no interest in party politics got involved and voluntarily committed their resources, time and energy to ensure the victory of former president Mahama. Truth be told, it was more or less a Jihad( Holy war) for us and one was seen as a traitor and an enemy to the kingdom when as a son or daughter of the land, he or she was seen supporting or campaigning for the NPP and Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo. I knew very notable sons and daughters of Gonjaland who were very instrumental and key members of the NPP defect to the NDC and others who could not defect to the NDC take a passive stand on the activities of the NPP.
Truly, some prominent chiefs were not left out. Whereas some of them secretly campaigned for former President John Dramani Mahama, others openly did it on national television stations and their palaces and proudly were ready to face the consequences of their actions. Indeed, the people of Gonjaland massively voted against Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo in the 2008, 2012 and 2016. In all the seven(7) constituencies of the kingdom, former president Mahama's votes halved that of President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and all the parliamentary seats went in favour of former president Mahama except in the 2016 elections that the Salaga South parliamentary seat went in favour of the NPP. Even with that seat, the presidential elections went in favour of former president Mahama.
Let me state here that it was not out of place for us to support our son and brother. After all, that is the dictates of mechanical solidarity. But won't we be ingrates should we again vote against Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo in the 2020 elections? Surely, we will be ingrates should we not vote for him considering his enormous contributions to the development and forward match of the kingdom. For me, he has done enough to worth our votes. He has demonstrated beyond doubts that he love, revere and respect the chiefs and people of Gonjaland. His almost seven times visit to the kingdom is a sign of reverence, honour and respect to our customs and traditions. It is on record that he is the first president of Ghana to pay more visits to the land within his first term of office.
Let us not forget where we came from in relation to our ages-long quest for our own administrative region. It has been an almost forty years journey. Indeed, there has been a substantial demand by all in the land for the region. We all knew and held the view that what kept it waiting for all this while was the commitment of a government to our course. Many politicians capitalised on it to make their political capital and left it unattended to. I quiet remember the flagbearer of the NPP in the 2008 elections, Nana Akuffo Addo and the running mate of the NDC in the 2008 elections who is also the son of the land both made a promise of carving out the Savannah region out of the then northern region in the Jakpa Palace before the overlord and king of Gonjaland and the entirety of Gonjaland should their political parties win the elections. It was never achieved until on 12th February 2019 that we had it. Should we not be grateful to president Nana Addo for his political will and commitment that saw its realisation? I hear many saying that creating a region is a concerted effort by all and hence the president cannot take any credit for such a feat.
If indeed, such a viewpoint is anything to go by, is it that we lacked that concerted effort since we started fighting for this region and that we all of a sudden gained that momentum and concerted effort in 2018? Let's be grateful and give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar and what belongs to God to God. It is quite laughable that just for the sake of gunning votes some Gonjalanders will want to run down the region.
They argue that just within two years of its creation, the region should have everything working to perfection and intact. Is this possible? Getting it in the first place is a feat we have chalked and needed to be celebrated. In piecemeal, we are reaping the benefits of having the region. The Savannah Regional House of chiefs has just been inaugurated by the vice president. Was this and many more of such not the reason why we longed for the region? Under the new Savannah regional house of chiefs, a sitting Yagbonwura is the lifetime president,26 chiefs from the land will make up the regional house of chiefs and we shall present five paramount chiefs to the National House of Chiefs. Will this not be an impetus to our chieftaincy system? Our overlord and king would not have to compete or struggle with any other king for the presidency.
Under every government, we shall have an individual from the region to represent us in the council of state. The various political parties have just started benefiting from the fruits of the young region in that party leadership has been drawn closer to the people. Initially, it was hectic and in many instances an impossibility for a person from us to penetrate to become a regional executive of the two big political parties. Aside from the creation of the region, he has created the North East Gonja district assembly and upgraded the West and East Gonja assemblies to municipalities.
He has done and continues to do enough for the kingdom in terms of road construction. There are currently about 33 road projects simultaneously running in the region and he is working about almost 747 km of road in the kingdom. This adds up to about 22% of the total road network in the kingdom. From archives, it has not happened that a government at a go is constructing such a percentage of road network in a particular region. He is opening the Eastern part of the kingdom to the western part and to the capital by constructing the Bunjai- Fufulso road. The Daboya- Mankargu road he is constructing will make the kingdom accessible through the North East region. The Salaga- Ekumdipe- Kpandai is yet another critical road he is constructing. The Damongo and Salaga township roads have added beauty to these great towns of Gonja. He has also secured funds and contract has been awarded to construct new bridges over the White and Black Volta rivers at Yapei and Buipe to replace the old dilapidated bridges built in the 1960s which have outlived their life span and also secured funds for the construction of a bridge over the Daboya river.
Will we not truly be ungrateful to Nana Addo should we again disendorse him as a president with how he is fighting it to the bones to make electricity accessible to us in the Kingdom? In just three years, he has connected 27 communities within the region to the national grid and that of 9 communities are ongoing and in September, the deputy minister of energy in charge of power, Mr William Owuradu Aidoo was in Damongo, the Savannah regional capital to launch the electrification project for Northern, Savannah and North East region which aims at connecting 59 communities in the region to the national grid.
On July 27, 2020, he turned on the taps of the Yapei Water Supply Project and now at the comfort of the homes of the people of Yapei, they can turn on their taps for water. He is almost done with the Salaga water project and a litany of small-town water supply projects and solar-powered mechanised boreholes are abound in the region. The almighty perennial water problem in Damongo is at the verge of being solved because the president has secured a loan of 49 million dollars for the project. The contract has been awarded to Biwater. When this project is completed, water will be available to Damongo and all its environs.
He has also appointed many of us in very strategic positions in his government. The young and affable Samuel Abu Jinapor, Hajia Salamatu Forgor, Dr. Clifford Braimah,Dr. Sulemana Adam Achanso, The Bishop of Damongo Catholic Diocese, Alhaji Braimah Adam, Albert Kassim Diwura, Kpembiwura Bambange Ndefoso and Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor are all serving in his government.
Fellow Gonjalanders, has he not worked for us to worth our votes? Without a dot of doubt, he has demonstrated immeasurably that he means well for us. The overlord and king of Gonja has bestowed on him a chieftaincy title dubbed " Yenawurawura", to wit, "a leader who walks his talks" because he fulfilled his promise of creating a region for us should he win the 2016 elections. Please, the title is not enough to show our appreciation for these great things he has done for us. We can do more by massively endorsing him as the president of Ghana in the 2020 elections. The people of the Gonja kingdom are known for being appreciators and not ingrates.
Iddi Adam Osman
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