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01.02.2016 Feature Article

Open Letter To MP Aspirants For Builsa South Constituency

Open Letter To MP Aspirants For Builsa South Constituency
LISTEN FEB 1, 2016

Dear Parliamentary Aspirants for Builsa South Constituency, my name is Christopher Adobe-Rah Analimbey, a proud native of Gbedema Jagsa Guuta, a suburb of the Builsa South District in the Upper East Region.

I was born and bred there; however, schooling and an insatiable desire for greener pastures imprisoned me in Accra, since there are no job opportunities for young people like me back home - needless to say, though.

On the 1st of January, as usual, the good people of Gbedema celebrated our Gbedema Mabrimtom; an activity that seeks to bring responsible natives of the community all over home in a quest to deliberate on ways and means to develop our beloved community.

For the past two years, I could not take part in the ceremony due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, hence, my decision to take part in this year’s activity no matter what.

Accra is obviously not my hometown. Am just a sojourner just like many of us living or staying in Accra or other parts of the country. I may not be living at Gbedema Jagsa Guuta, but as a responsible citizen, I should be interested in how my constituency is being managed.

Many things, in fact, bad things have been said about how politicians have neglected Builsa South regardless of the numerous promises that have been made during electioneering periods over time. As the old axiom says: “seeing is believing”, I thought it wise to go see the place first before I join the bandwagon.

A visit to some parts of the constituency confirms the reports I have had over the years.

Dear aspirants, I know you are already abreast of the difficulties facing my constituency, so no need rehashing same. Nonetheless, for the purpose of this letter I shall rhapsodize about few that I think are very important for now, after all, you already know them.

Nadezhda Mandelstam once said: “I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.” Silence is a number one killer indeed. Let me elucidate Hon. Aspirants. If you are sick, instead of telling a doctor or a friend about your condition and you choose to remain mute for fear of been stigmatized, the possibility is that you will die with a disease that should not have killed you in the first place.

Words can be twisted into any shape. Promises can be made to lull the heart and seduce the soul. In the final analysis, those words mean nothing if they are not transformed into real action. Over the years, Member of Parliament (MP) aspirants have continued to lull the hearts and seduce the souls of the constituents of Builsa south for votes, and at the end, those litany of promises amount to nothing.

Dear aspirants, in this short letter, I shall focus on the extremely poor, dusty road network in the Builsa south constituency, the rest will follow in my next letters to you.

Many have said that MPs do not make roads and that they can only lobby. I agree to some extent. If MPs do not make roads, the question then is why would would-be MPs promise heaven on earth things they know very well they cannot fulfill? That certainly includes roads. Perhaps, our MPs are not lobbying enough.

Many voters are now discerning, therefore, a would-be MP cannot hover from one community to the other promising mouthwatering promises when you are incapable of fulfilling same. Gone are the days when parliamentary aspirants would descend to Buluk during electioneering periods only to offer voters calabashes of pito or some broken bottles of 'akpetsesi' as sacrifices for votes, after which do not return.

You are aware of our poor, dusty road network. Aren’t you? I remember when I was still at Sandema Senior High School way back in 2000, then MP aspirants had promised to fix that same road. In fact, it was a major campaign message by aspirants for both Constituencies (Builsa South and North). We are in 2016 now (16 years after), yet we aren’t sure when our road will be fixed.

Right from Builsa North to the south, politicians have taken Builsas for granted, such that every four years they would descend to Buluk from their luxury homes in Accra, deceive gullible voters with broken bottles of 'akpetsesi', make vain promises and then vacate Buluk permanently after they have successful achieve what they wanted. The next time you see the politician is when another election year is approaching. Wow, isn’t this interesting?

Our car almost broke down when we were going home due to the numerous pot-wells on the road. What seems to surprise me is the fact that, you politicians ply these roads occasionally, yet you care less. Right from Sandema through Wiaga to Gbedema, it almost took us three hours when it should have taken us less than an hour. From Gbedema to Fumbisi, the least say about it the better. What is happening? Not a single road in the Builsa South is asphalted. Perhaps, I should rephrase my statement: not a single road in the BUILSA DISTRICT IS TARRED.

When a lascivious man is seeking to take an innocent lady to bed, he would do everything on earth to get her, then after the lady would be jettisoned for life. This is how some of our politicians (SOME Emphasized) have been doing for years, especially where the area is a so-called world bank or stronghold of his or her party.

On the day Gbedema Mabrimtom had our celebration, I was not at the function initially due to urgent issues I had to attend to at the time; however, I came to meet part, the most important part for that matter.

As usual, politicians across the political divide among other important dignitaries were invited. In fact, before Gbedema Mabrimtom celebration, Kanjaga (also a suburb of the constituency) had done theirs the previous day. My information was that all the political parties that matter was invited, and as often the case, they did their usual thing; promises galore.

Dr. Clement Apaak who happens to be Parliamentary Aspirant on the ticket of the ruling National Democratic Congress, NDC could not make it to the occasion because his convoy had been involved in an accident days prior to our occasion. Let me use this opportunity to wish Dr. Apaak well. We thank God that nothing bad had happened to you. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised to see your posters all over my village, it’s an indication that my people love you and are praying for your success come November 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Many attend occasions for various reasons. On our day, I went to the occasion for one and only one reason: to listen to the concatenation of promises parliamentary aspirants would make. I had to clean my ears well with some guinea fowl feathers and cotton buds I brought from Accra so that I could listen to my potential parliamentarians very loud and clear because, on such an occasion, every promise counts.

Before I proceed, let me use this opportunity to salute Hon. Alhassan Azong, current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Constituency for his hard work and contribution to the development of Gbedema. How are you doing, Honorable? I hope you have been spared by the grace of God.

Dear Honorable, the people in my village greets you. They also told me to extend their heartfelt appreciation to you for grading and leveling the feeder road from Gbedema Central through Gbedema Jagsa Belerinsa to Gbedema Jagsa Garibeensa. I wish you were there to see how elated they were.

They were notwithstanding, sad, in fact, very sad that you neglected Gbedema Jagsa Guuta feeder road, the only place with a community Health facility (CHPS Compound) for the whole of Jagsa. Besides, Gbedema Jagsa Guuta Junior High School is the Polling Centre where Gbedema Naab (Chief) usually casts his vote during elections. As a matter of fact, Guuta JHS is the same polling Centre where our revered Chief, Naab Nkrumah Aparingchang II and his predecessors have been voting since time immemorial.

Dear Hon. Azong, the good people of Guuta couldn’t hide their frustration and disappointment that you surreptitiously took a detour in the allocation of the feeder road contract. Or, is it because they do not have anyone to stand and speak for them? I am just a babysitter by the way.

I was at the Gbedema Mabrimtom celebration grounds when you took the rostrum and began to ‘litanize’ the number of projects you have done for Gbedema. The feeder road from Gbedema Central through Gbedema Jagsa Belerinsa to Gbedema Jagsa Garibeensa was one of your gargantuan achievements you have mentioned; therefore, I couldn’t be wrong addressing you instead of the District Chief Executive or perhaps, the Assemblyman for Gbedema Jagsa.

Though our gathering wasn’t a political dais, you took the opportunity to catalogue a litany of developmental projects you have done for Builsa South. Besides cataloguing your gargantuan achievements, some fresh promises were made. They include the following: extension of the feeder road from Garibeensa through Kasiesa, a suburb of Fumbisi (Builsa South District Capital) to the main road; extension of electricity from Gbedema Central through Baleerinsa to Garibeensa (again, you jettisoned Guuta); and grading and leveling of Gbedema Jagsa Guuta JHS feeder road among others. I am even told your electricity polls are ready.

Consistently, one wonders why the only community with a community health facility (CHPS Compound) is conspicuously missing in all your executed projects. Besides, the community also has a Junior High School. Misplaced priorities? I am just curious.

I do not intend to take a detour, but I think these are fundamental developmental projects for my people. I could not go without commenting on them.

Dear Honorable, there is no cause for alarm, though. I have managed to speak with some of my village people and they have agreed to wait, perhaps you will fulfill the latest promises you made during our celebration day. We can only give you the benefit of the doubt, case close.

Mostly, people who stand on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party in the Builsa South Constituency usually do not garner much support; however, the visibility of the current Parliamentary Candidate on the ticket of the NPP, Mr. Daniel Gariba speaks volumes, you are indeed a force to reckon with. It is an indication that the constituents have changed, and are therefore looking for someone who can bring development to the constituency. I wish you well sir.

Dear Aspirants, the major problem of Builsa South Constituency is our poor, dusty road network as earlier indicated. Large amount of food stuff from the Builsa traditional area are produced in the Builsa South district. Besides, Fumbisi market is one of the biggest markets in Upper East Region. On Fumbisi market day, many traders travel all the way from other regions to the Fumbisi Market to trade all kinds of stuff. Nonetheless, our poor dusty roads pose a major threat to many traders.

As a child growing up, the State Transport Company (STC) buses used to ply the Fumbisi road; however, due to the very deplorable nature of the road, they stopped plying the route for many years now (I stand to be corrected though). Again, this is causing a whole lot of inconvenience to commuters and traders. For some years now, the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses also withdrew their services to the Constituency due to our bad road network.

As a new district, it would be extremely difficult to develop the area without funds. Trade is one of the means the district can internally generate income to develop the area. Sadly, the nature of our road does not provide the environment for business and trade to thrive. This road certainly needs fixing.

Traders and farmers are apparently the worst affected. Some few residents I have spoken to complain bitterly that the deplorable state of the roads has resulted in several losses due to the difficulties and challenges they have to go through in carting their food produce and other wares to and fro the district, especially market days. This development, according to some residents often leave them cash-strapped, awfully hopeless, compelling many to question whether the district is indeed part of the country

Also, it is obvious failure to fix this dusty road has the risk of scaring away potential investors in the district. Unemployment is on the ascendancy in the district, we must not engage in activities that will aggravate the situation. Fixing the road means more jobs for the people of Builsa South District, and by extension increase income for the district for further developmental activities.

The deplorable condition of the road not only poses a challenge to trading and economic activities for the people in the district but has also been described as a death-trap for drivers and traders who ply the roads on daily basis. The poor state of our roads has generally been admitted as one of the causes of road carnage in this country. The earlier we do something about this very bad road the better. The situation is even worse during raining season.

Have we ever asked ourselves why many professionals declined postings to the Builsa South District? Well, this is what a National Service Personnel said to me about a year ago. He was posted to the district as a teacher in 2014. After he had reported to the school, he came back and never returned. When I asked him why he didn’t go back, this was exactly what he said. “The district is too local for my liking. What is even worst is their road network – dusty and extremely cumbersome to travel on.” Many other professionals have refused postings to our district apparently because of our road network.

Furthermore, the dust alone we inhale has some health hazards, yet on daily basis, many of these innocent farmers have to inhale this dust through no mistake of theirs. Some have ended up in the hospitals while those without the cash to seek medical help die slowly. Our politicians who only visit the district once in a blue moon, often rolled up the glasses of their air-conditioned V8 vehicles, bath our poor farmers and traders who cannot afford a common bicycle let alone a motorbike with dust, thus do not feel the negative impact of walking on a dusty road.

Many Members of Parliament have come and go; notwithstanding, there is nothing to show except vain promises, and perhaps gallons of 'akeptsesi' as consolation.

The Builsa traditional area is one of the deprived and less developed communities in the Upper East Region. It is therefore without question that I am writing this passionate letter to you.

You are all qualified men capable enough to represents us in Parliament. We the constituents of the Builsa South need a roadmap on how you intend to develop the area as far as infrastructure is concerned.

Personally, the dusty road network is the most important item on my list. As a result of the poor nature of the road, transport owners have taken the opportunity to exploit poor farmers and traders who seek their services hence impoverish our people the more.

This is absolutely unacceptable. Are we not part of Ghana? Don’t our people pay taxes like their counterparts in other regions or communities?

Education in the District has virtually deteriorated, yet every four years we go to the polls. If the people we vote to represent us in parliament do not care about the plight of the people they seek to represent, one wonders why we should continue put our trust in them.

This may sound harsh, but the truth must be told: this time round Builsas will never vote or renew the mandate of a selfish egregious politician. We ought to drum this loudly into the ears of people who seek political office in the Builsa District. This time, Builsas will not accept gallons of 'akpetsesi' as substitution for developmental projects. It is an insult to the Builsa and must be condemned with all seriousness it deserves. All we want is a fair share of the national cake period.

We are going to hold you accountable for every promise you make to us before, during and after the general election. In an effort to ensure we have a united force, discussions are under way to ensure majority if not all members of the constituency who do not reside in the constituency and have no vote back home to transfer their votes back home to enable them help decide who should represent us in Parliament.

Dear Aspirants, if you don’t have any policy direction on how you intend to fix our death-trap road in your manifesto, please revise it before it is too late. The majority of constituents I have spoken to are incensed and have demonstrated their readiness to resist any politician planning to play with their intelligence come November 7, 2016

Builsa South certainly needs Member of Parliament who will bring all on board in our quest to develop our constituency and not someone who is only interested in satisfying his selfish interest. Builsa South is bigger than any politician, we will not hesitate to resist selfish politicians come November 7.

As the good book say: “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2 ESV - Please save us the hollow promises.

Again in Mathew, it is written: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” Matthew 5:37 ESV

Finally, I would like to end my letter with this wonderful quote: “To win the people, always cook them some savoury that pleases them.” Aristophanes, the Knights. My quotes are obvious: do not make some promises you cannot keep for the sake of wooing us for votes, please. Save us the savoury!

I wish you all well. We are ready to support any of you who happens to win our hearts on November 7, 2016.

Ti Ko Naawen niak Buluk meena! Yours Truly, Signed Analimbey, Adobe-Rah Chris E-mail: [email protected] . Telephone: 0207992552

Analimbey, A. Chris
Analimbey, A. Chris, © 2016

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