A political historian at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Samuel Adu-Gyamfi is urging inhabitants within the Ashanti Region to demand more from politicians to help ensure their fair share of development.
He bemoaned that residents in the region have been taken for granted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), despite their history of voting massively for the party.
He has described it as worrying, a failure by the Akufo-Addo government to complete monumental projects in its party’s stronghold despite being in office for the past seven years.
This comes on the back of the fact that inhabitants within the region are growing increasingly agitated over the government’s failure to fulfil numerous promises made to them.
They have also cited the abandonment of major critical projects in the region as totally unacceptable.
The abandoned projects include the Mother and Baby Unit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), phases two and three of the Kumasi International Airport expansion project, phase two of the Kejetia-Central Market redevelopment project, various sinohydro projects.
Aside from this, other major projects that they want work to be completed on are Afari Military Hospital which work commenced during the John Agyekum Kufour era, Sewua hospital, Kumawu hospital, KNUST hospital, Fomena hospital among others.
The Krofrom market, which work commenced during the Kufuor administration, has remained abandoned for years.
With the second term of the Akufo-Addo government almost ending, some residents have described it as a form of deception as construction works have now commenced on the Boankra Inland Port and Suame Interchange project.
They fear these projects will also be abandoned like other projects since they cannot be completed before President Akufo-Addo leaves office.
Aside from these concerns, many communities in the region continue to complain about poor road networks in their area.
The areas include the Manso enclave, Kwabre East, Bosomtwe Ahafo Ano South West, Ahafo Ano South East, Atwima Kwanwoma, Ejisu and almost every area has serious road-related concerns that they complain the government has failed to fulfil the promise of getting them fixed.
Speaking to Citi News, the senior lecturer at the Department of History and Political Studies at KNUST, admonished that changing the voting pattern is one of the strongest signals that will make the NPP government take the region seriously.
“I think Asante should begin to show the NPP the red card. Sometimes when we look at the region, some people think we are referring to those who are Asante, so Asante refers to the language and the people. But, when we look at Asante as a region, we are looking at Fante, Ewe, Dagomba- all other groups who are in Asante as a region.”
“They have been loyal and consistent in delivering the vote for the NPP, but they have not specifically tied that to development, and they have not made such demands openly and frankly to the NPP as a party. They must insist on this time around and make sure that when the NPP per adventure comes to power, and they refuse to deliver, they are penalized accordingly. If they do not begin to show them red cards and yellow cards, they are always giving them the green card to allow them to have the potential to come to power.”
He urged residents to break the jinx of Asante becoming a faithful wife to the NPP.
“Nana Akufo-Addo went into how many elections before he became president? Three times. The first time when all other regions were oscillating left and right, Asante was consistent. The second time, Asante was consistent. The third time, Asante has become like the faithful wife to the NPP, even if they are playing the buffoonery.”
“This does not bring development because politics and governance must be tied to development. It is not just about forming political parties and winning power and coming to drink tea and then having big rallies. It is not about because we are Asante, or we are this and therefore, we must vote for the NPP. That’s absolutely nonsensical. The region needs development. It is lagging behind in many things roads, poor infrastructure and all that and the NPP must be blamed because they were supposed to have translated the votes of the NPP into development. They have taken the people for granted. They feel that rain or shine, they will queue and vote for them as a party,” he stated.
Prof. Adu-Gyamfi further advised the residents in the Ashanti region to embark on protests to drum home their demands.
“If the people in this region continue to allow this insult to subsist, it means that our embryonic democracy can not even grow to even become a zygote. It has the potential to die even at birth. For me, it is quite disappointing and that is not democracy. Votes must translate into development. From time to time, they (residents in the region) must show that in protests, in demonstrations.
They must show that in public agitations, they must show that in open speeches and discussions like I’m doing because when people queue to vote, they don’t beg for development. All that they want is that it must translate into the provision of public good which is missing glaringly in Asante and for me, that is unacceptable and that is something that should not be encouraged within the scheme of things,” he entreated.