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15.07.2004 Politics

Oda residents threaten to boycott polls

By Graphic

About 3,000 residents of Maraba, a suburb of Akim Oda, have threatened to boycott the December general election unless the area is connected to the national electricity grid.

They have also served notice to embark on a series of demonstrations to press home their demand.

At a press conference held in the area on Thursday to draw public attention to their plight, the residents noted with much concern that the absence of power in the area for the past 13 years was adversely affecting the socio-economic development of the area.

Citing examples, they said a bakery, Thy Grace Bakery, was about to close down and lay off over 50 of its workforce.

Similarly, a gas plant which serves the area and its environs was also in the process of being shut down by its management due to high overload cost in operating the plant with a generator.

Throwing more light on their predicament, the residents said they were able to lobby the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who is also the MP for Akim Oda, through whose efforts a 'job card' was provided for the area for them to be supplied with power.

They said rather surprisingly, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) told them that the area would require 63 poles for the project, adding that they should pass through the same process by which they were able to secure the 'job card' to be able to procure the poles for work to begin on the project.

The residents said since then, the ECG had procured poles for electrification projects in some areas at Akim Manso and Akim Achiase, leaving them to continue to live in total darkness.

When the GNA contacted the Deputy Oda District Manager of the ECG, Mac Donald, he appealed to the residents to exercise restraint and said that efforts were being made to supply them power soon.

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