Residents of six communities in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region have threatened to boycott the upcoming District Assembly and Unit Committee elections if government does not fix the Bolgatanga-Sherigu-Naaga poor road.
The group took to the streets on Thursday, December 12, to protest the deplorable state of the roads which they allege has led to a number of road crashes.
The protesters who held placards with inscriptions such as “No roads No Vote”, “Fix our road now”, “We are not animals” among others could not fathom why the Bolga-Sherigu-Naaga road has not been tarred despite several assurances by government.
Speaking to Citi News, convener of the group, Peter Akurugu, gave government a one-week ultimatum to fix the road or risk a boycott of the upcoming assembly elections and the general election in 2020.
“No single day passes without one or two accidents being registered on the road. I could state without reservations that in the last six months, as many as ten people have died on the road due to accidents. The common transportation system on the road is the tricycle commonly called Cando. Operators are compelled to increase fares because the road is completely immotorable and makes them experience frequent breakdowns. Pregnant women who are conveyed to the hospital in these candos experience miscarriages,” he claimed.
“The worst offenders are the Zoomlion refuse-conveying vehicles. They seem oblivious about the state of the road and speed while taking refuse to the disposal site at Shirigu. Houses along the road inhale dust everyday not to talk of the dust that inundate their bedrooms, kitchens, foodstuffs, drinking water and so on.”
“We therefore want to bring to the notice of the duty bearers our candid opinion that in the next one week if no pragmatic steps are taken to construct the road; there will not be any district assembly election and No Zoomlion car will be allowed to pass that road. We hope and pray that you would use your good office to address our problem to bring smiles on the faces of the thousands of people plying the road on a daily basis,” he added.
The Bolgatanga-Sherigu-Naaga road is the oldest road in the Bolgatanga Municipality that link communities of Tanzui, Dorongu, Zorbisi, Sokabisi, Yikene and Sherigu together and also serve as the only main road for the transportation of goods and services to the Bolga Township.
The latter presented a petition to the Regional Minister Tangoba Abayage, at the Regional Coordinating Council, which was received by the Public Relations Officer at the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, Godwin Nkunu, on behalf of the Regional Minister.
Under the orders of the Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ampofo Duku, the SWAT team of the Ghana Police Service later picked up the former Assembly Member for Tanzui-Zorbisi Electoral Area, Mr. Aristophil Atinga and other members of the group for demonstrating without recourse to the Public Order Act.
Even though the demonstration monitored by two CID officers from the Bolga District police command ended up at the Regional Coordinating Council successfully, the SWAT team upon arrival at the RCC allegedly beat up the former assemblyman for Tanzui-Zorbisi Electoral Area, Mr. Aristophil Atinga.
Some protesters also sustained minor injuries as they were chased by the SWAT team of the police service.
At the time of filing this report, the suspects were in the custody of the regional police command.
However, efforts made by Citi News to ascertain the real cause for their arrest by the police command proved futile as journalists were denied access to the regional police commander, DCOP Ampofo Duku.