General News of Saturday, 7 October 2017
Source: The Ghanaian Observer
The Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface has appealed to the residents of Old Fadama in the Odododiodiooo Constituency of the Greater Accra Region to eschew their political differences and embrace development no matter which government is making it available to them.
If it had not been partisan politics Accra’s famous inner city otherwise known as ‘Sodom and Gomorra’ would have been developed some ten years ago with the Korle- Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP) sponsored by the World Bank with an amount of 73 million Euros the worried Minister told a gathering of inner city dwellers in Accra.
The Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency made this appeal at a town hall meeting organized by the EIB group, owners of GHone Television in the area as part of their one year anniversary celebration.
“It is about time politicians in this country must be straight forward with the people and tell them the truth,” he posited.
He said development is development and it should be accepted whichever government is making it available to them in the area.
He lamented, “Now people have to suffer at the least down pour in the city, when a project like KLERP was rolled by the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Local Government and Rural Development under the first New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor to control flooding in the city. I signed the agreement for the KLERP as the then Minister for Works and Housing and I know what it entails.”
“Like the relocation of the residents in the area to Adjen Kotoku area near Amasaman also in the region but for partisanship the project was left to rot under the watchful eyes of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2009,” he said.
The project, he said, came with water transport on the lagoon as well as the recreational centres where people in the city can pay to have their wedding receptions done along the lagoon.
He explained however that, for partisan politics, leaders of the area were prevailed upon by some elements in the NDC to refuse their relocation to the Adjen Kotoku area where massive infrastructure like markets, schools among other had been made available as part of the project.
Alhaji Boniface revealed that elements in the NDC succeeded in pitching the people against the NPP by using all manner of crook tactics in the area, they could not continue with the project when they assumed office and the loan of 73 million euros could not be accounted for.
“Ten years down the line the project is in a sorry state with some of the associates of the control panel for pumping the flooded waters through an underground means into the sea all stolen,” he said.
According to him, the project was with the aim of restoring the ecology of the lagoon to remedy the flood situations in the country by pumping flood waters that join the lagoon by an underground 2.5 kilometres High Definition pipe into the sea.
He minces no words to say this could have been a flagship project in the country that could have saved the lives of the innocent people who died in the June 3, 2015 twin disaster adding that what happened was man-made.
The project was also to make the ambience of the lagoon a laudable recreational centre that will attract tourists by water transport in the city.
The project which was operated for only two years was stalled in 2009 when the NDC led by the late Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills assumed office as the President of the country.
He told the people that the NPP will not deceived them and that the Ministry created for Inner cities and Zongos by president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has come to stay and it will not deceive them.
He assured the residents that his Ministry is in talks with the World Bank to find a way of rejuvenating the project.
He took the opportunity to commend the organizers for bringing their operations closer to the inner city dwellers, saying “The norm has always been celebrating such days in the plush hotels but you chose Sodom and Gomorra”.
Nana Ama Anamoah, News Editor of GHone TV took the opportunity to thank the residents for their calmness and promised the station will keep piling pressure on the Minister and his Ministry to redeem the promise he had made to them.