The abandoned overpass at Suhum
DRIVERS PLYING some roads in the Eastern Region, especially from Suhum to Apedwa Junction and Asamankese, have threatened to battle the Eastern Regional Police Command next week Monday, if they (police) fail to allow members of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs to express misgivings over the bad roads in the above-mentioned areas.
According to the drivers, they would organize a protest march against the police who had deliberately refused to allow the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Oforipanin and his sub-chiefs to inspect the deplorable roads in the region.
Some of the drivers who spoke to DAILY GUIDE in separate interviews after news broke out that the Eastern Regional Police Command had stopped the Okyehene from leading a team to inspect the bad roads, expressed shock at the decision of the police.
In spite of the police order, the Okyenhene and President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs had intimated that on Monday he and his sub-chiefs would inspect the roads and later address the media at the uncompleted overpass at Suhum.
A statement from his office said, ‘The tour is to afford traditional leaders first-hand interaction with communities and community leaders on social and developmental challenges particularly, to assess the condition of road networks and the deplorable social and economic infrastructure in the Eastern Region.’
The chiefs had complained to President Mahama about the bad roads, and he reportedly told them that the Eastern Region roads were not exceptional and that the people of the Upper East Region also had similar concerns.
One station master said, ‘We the drivers are in support of Okyehene, and if the police try to stop the chiefs, we shall organize ourselves and embark on a demonstration against them because it is our right to express our grievances if things are going wrong in the country.’
Mr. Amuzu, a driver, who plies the Asamankese road, told this reporter, ‘My brother, we are fed up with this NDC government. See, in a week I have to send my car to the fitting shop for repairs; why has the government imposed these hardships on us?’
The angry drivers stressed that all the road networks in the region are very bad but the government had not done anything about them, thereby rendering them almost immotorable.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yeboah Nketia, in an interview with an Accra-based radio station, said the chiefs would not be granted permission to embark on their proposed inspection and press briefing because of the strategic nature of the proposed venue for the media confab.
He noted that the venue is located along the Kumasi-Koforidus highway and the Koforidua-Asamankese road – which is too busy a place for such an event. More so, Monday is a market day at Suhum and Asamankese and so such an event had the tendency of disrupting commercial activities.
He said the chiefs would be granted a permit if only they would relocate the venue otherwise, the police would enforce the law, if Nananom failed to listen to them.
The Suhum Municipal Security Council had also said that the venue would not be accepted due to the vehicular traffic the meeting might create.
The Public Relations Officer of the Okyehene, D.M. Ofori Atta, on the same platform, said the chiefs disagreed to the police order since they were not going to demonstrate, but only an inspection of bad roads and holding of a press conference.
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Suhum
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