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01.11.2006 Politics

Lone Volta MP under siege

By chronicle
Lone Volta MP under siege
LISTEN NOV 1, 2006

Charged youth say 'no electricity in whole constituency despite voting for NPP'

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is likely to lose its sole Nkwanta North parliamentary seat in the Volta Region if the numerous complaints by the youth of the second largest town in the constituency are not taken care of.

A group calling itself Damako Concerned Youth Association (DCYA) says Damanko, which according to the group, is the second largest revenue generating town for the Nkwanta District has been completely neglected in terms of development, despite the massive support the government gained in the town during the last general elections.

Speaking to The Chronicle, Mr. Ametepey Simon, secretary of the Association, identified some of the problems confronting the people of the area as lack of electricity, lack of potable water, bad drainage systems in the town and surrounding areas and poor road network to boot.

Damako is also the hometown of the only NPP Member Parliament in the Volta region and Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Joseph Kwaku Nayan. Mr. Nayan, who was the Headmaster of the Damanko Local Authority Junior Secondary School until he got the support of the people to become an MP, was accused of having done nothing for the area.

“When we gave him our support to win the parliamentary seat, he organized a victory party that was attended by a lot of government officials who promised that for proving that we are committed to the ruling party and delivering to it a seat in the region, we were going to be beneficiaries of major development projects.

But since then we have seen nothing,” the secretary of the association pointed out.

“Mr. Nayan taught all of us at Damanko, so when he became the MP we were hoping that he could do a lot for us. He was also our Assemblyman and now a Deputy Minister so we don't understand why he has left us,” Simon said.

When Mr. Nayan was contacted on phone he told the paper that he was aware of the needs of the people in the area and was doing the best he could to solve the problems confronting them.

He said the main developmental requirement of the people in the area was the provision of electricity. “Just last month I sent hundred electricity poles to the area and work would soon commence on the project. Damanko is my hometown so why would I decide to neglect my own people,” the sole NPP legislator in the Volta region pointed out.

The Deputy regional Minister was of the view that his people had failed to appreciate the development projects being undertaken in the area because their expectations were too high. He said so far, there had been the construction of a number of boreholes in the area to provide potable water for the people as well as the construction of a couple of classroom blocks to boost basic education in the area.

He intimated that being the only MP from the region and Deputy Minister, the people expected more than he could do for them, pointing out that he was doing all within his means to satisfy the basic needs of the people.

Despite these comments from the legislator, which sounded quite refreshing, the youth of the area insist that nothing had been done. “ Look, he has not done anything in our area since we voted for him. If you think we are lying, you call him, you ask him to just mention only one thing that he has done for the people of his hometown since he became MP. His constituency remain as the only one in the country where there is no single town connected to electricity,” the group leader said.

Asked whether the MP would lose the seat if elections were to be conducted now, one of the members of the Association responded, “He will lose miserably. He will not get even a third of the votes he got!”

The Association had earlier petitioned the Minister of Local Government, Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, complaining about what members perceived as the neglect of the area at the local level and the consistent failure of the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Nkwanta Mr. Joseph Denteh to honour their invitations for programmes they organize in the Damanko Area.

In an interview with the DCE, he said on all occasions, the people in the Damanko area fail to properly invite him to their functions. He explained that on one occasion, he got a call from someone at around 3:pm who told him that they were organizing a programme the following day in Accra. He said giving the distance from Nkwanta, the district Capital to Accra it was not possible for him to attend the propramme and explained that all other programmes he had failed to attend were due to either late or improper invitations.

The DCE also denied the claims that the area was being neglected in terms of development and said a lot were being done for the area.