Two communities in West Mamprusi declare, “No road, no vote”

Residents of the Gbimsi and Nayorku electoral areas in the Walewale constituency say they will vote for the candidate best able to fix their decades-old roads problem

Residents of Gbimsi and Nayorku in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North-East Region have declared “no road, no vote” over the poor state of the only road linking their two communities.

The road, which stretches for about two and a half kilometres, has been cut off by torrential rain.

The two communities, which are now inaccessible, came out in their numbers on 26 September to do communal work on the road to make it motorable.

The residents admonished the government to fix the road for them or else, they said, they will not vote in the national election on 7 December 2020.

Highwayman’s delight

The assemblyman for the Gbimsi electoral area, Iddi Jonah Salifu, told Asaase News that the road is a business road and that certain criminals consider the state of the road as an advantage. It makes the location ideal for staging robberies.

Salifu said he had appealed to the municipal assembly countless times in attempt to get assembly members to attend to the long-neglected road.

“The road is deplorable and looks very dangerous. You have to use wisdom before walking on the road to cross to the next community, and we don’t talk about motorcycles or vehicles,” he said. “Yet the authorities responsible are not telling us the truth about why residents on market days [have to face such difficulties].

“I who represented the people in my electoral area cannot even count – the road is not fixed for so many decades,” Salifu said.

West Mamprusi/Walewale road communal work on the Gbimsi-Nayorku road
The young men doing communal work on the road say they will vote for whoever lives up to their promise … before the December election

Watching and waiting

A unit committee member from the Nayorku electoral area, Basiru Fuseini, also told Asaase Radio that the inaccessibility of the communities because of the state of road is causing much suffering to residents of both electoral areas. However, the officials who are supposed to fix the road for the people seem not to be listening.

The unit committee member said that the New Patriotic Party parliamentary candidate for Walewale, Hajia Lariba Abudu Zuwera, visited Naryoku some months ago.

Hajia Lariba, who doubles as the deputy chief executive officer for the Northern Development Authority (NDA), told the people that if she won the right to represent them in Parliament, she would definitely get the road fixed for them.

Fuseini told Asaase News that the elders are angry and cannot sit waiting and watching as accidents claim local people’s lives on the road for decades longer before politicians decide to repair it.

“We will not vote in the national elections on 7 December 2020 if the government of the day still turns a deaf ear to our complaints,” he said.

A locked-in economy

The youngsters taking part in communal labour to make the road usable expressed impatience and declared that the road must be fixed before the national election which will take place on 7 December.

Young people complain that their farm produce – tomatoes, watermelons, peppers, garden eggs and other perishable crops – cannot be transported to markets in Bolga, or even Walewale, the municipal capital of West Mamprusi, because of the deplorable state of the road.

They said they will vote for any political party that will rescue them by fixing the road linking the two communities.

Dokurugu Alhassan, Asaase News North-East regional correspondent

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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