A newly-created Northern People’s Forum (NPF) has made a fiery debut, tackling almost immediately issues relating to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Made up of mostly youth from the three northern regions, NPF has been active these past few days raising concerns about what for them is the shortchanging of the people from the North.
They have taken exception to the recent reconstitution of the SADA Board, saying it does not address the critical issues which have rendered the authority ineffective and as they put it ‘defeated the purpose for which it was created.’
SADA, according to them, was floated to lift the millions from this part of the country from poverty but has been used by a few elites to serve their parochial interests.
Continuing, they noted ‘the organization has been mired in deep-seated rot ranging from institutional inefficiency, misplaced development priorities to naked, heart-breaking thievery.’
Government, the forum stated, ‘oversaw the misuse of the insufficient funds allocated to the Authority either deliberately or as a result of its negligence.
‘The actions of the SADA Board and management had consequences, as millions of SADA’s limited funds were spent on phantom projects like tree-planting and guinea fowl rearing and in some instances, outright embezzlement through dubious collaborations with private companies.’
While faulting the reconstitution of the board at this time, they asked that ‘the President ought to take various steps to first of all recover the funds pilfered and those woefully mismanaged and to also assure the people of the North that the Authority is now committed to delivering on its purpose of facilitating the accelerated development in the North.’
The President must convince those who believe he is simply playing gimmicks that this time around he means business and that his intentions are noble, it noted.
‘He must do this by settling once and for all the murky nature of the various projects under SADA including the guinea fowl project,’ they said.
They added that ‘those who approved expenditures that they had no authority to approve and awarded contracts in contravention of the procurement laws must be prosecuted without further delay. People of northern extraction, just like SADA, are bleeding to death because of the haphazard manner in which the organization has been managed.’
They stated that the mere appointment of a new board cannot and will not lull Ghanaians and the northern people to go to sleep.
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