He told President John Dramani Mahama in a brief but insightful meeting that ‘We are aware of your good intentionsbut most of the time you are let down by your own people.’
Togbe Afede, who is also the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, made the remarks when the President paid a courtesy call on him and his sub-chiefs in Ho.
The President undertook a surprise inspection of the deplorable Ho-Adidome road which had been very unpleasant to ply by motorists.
According to Togbe Afede, the appointees and the Members of Parliament (MPs) from the region usually do not liaise with nor attend to the calls of the chiefs.
He cited two occasions where the Volta Regional House of Chiefs had invited the MPs and other appointees for discussions and only a handful honoured the invitation, adding that on other occasions, the invitation was not honoured at all.
Afede Schools Mahama
In what could be described as teacher and student relationship, the traditional ruler, who is also seen as an astute entrepreneur and business mogul, lectured the President on the need for adequate planning and thinking.
Although he admitted that the governments was facing serious financial constraints, he emphasized that that should not prevent the President and his team from planning and thinking through the challenges facing the country.
‘We always want to attribute challenges to lack of fundsbut most times proper planning and thinking can go a long wayto cut cost and solve challenges better,’ he noted.
He cited the excessive congestion and inconvenience at the Senchi ferry site, coupled with the very deplorable Adaklu portion of the Ho-Adidome-Sogakofe-Accra route which is the perfect alternative for motorists from Accra to Ho and beyond, as a clear case of poor planning and thinking.
President Mahama interestingly conceded that the closure of the Adomi bridge and the alternatives provided were bereft of proper planning.
He said, ‘I had my own doubts about the ability of the ferries to take the pressure,’ recounting that even when the bridge was operating, the traffic that resulted from toll collection alone was sometimes frightening.
Mahama therefore accepted that ‘like Togbe said, we should do more planning.’
Mr. Mahama apologized on behalf of his appointees and said the sentiments expressed by Togbe Afede should urge him and his team to improve their interactions with the Chiefs and people of Ghana.
He also announced that government was considering a floating bridge (pontoon bridge) on the Volta Lake to complement the ferries and ease traffic and inconvenience.
In addition is the proposed construction of a dual carriage bridge on the lower Volta River to facilitate the movements of gods and services.
The appointees in the region who were difficult to reach by the chiefs, thronged Togbe Afede’s palace in their numbers to support President Mahama.
From Fred Duodu, Ho ( [email protected] )
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