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Angry residents disrupt Minister’s visit over lack of development

Residents of Dagbri-boari in the East Mamprusi municipality of the North East region, hooted at their Member of Parliament (MP), Hajia Alimah Mahama, when she arrived in the community on Wednesday with other government officials to campaign for her re-election.

The Local Government Minister and her high-profiled delegation, including the Municipal Chief Executive, Baba Danladi, the North East Regional Minister, and many regional executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), were in the community to speak to party delegates as part of her campaign towards the now suspended primaries of the party.

But members the community, who had massed up waiting for the MP’s arrival, gave the team a hostile welcome by refusing to allow the MP access to the delegates and also rejecting some Covid-19 items she had brought to share to them.

The residents, who accused Hajia Alimah of failing to fulfil her earlier campaign promises, said their action was in fulfillment of their promise to boycott this year’s general election and other national exercises, unless authorities address their plights.

The residents also accused the MP of neglecting the community during the scabies outbreak last year in which the community was the epicenter.

The Youth leader, Abubakari Washiu, who spoke to JoyNews, said, the MP failed to fulfill her numerous promises to fix their roads and provide potable drinking water to the community.

“Honestly, during the last elections when our MP came here, she made a lot of promises. So those promises, we were expecting that, at least if none at, at least, one or two would have been done.

“But up to date, she disappeared and we never heard anything from her again. So when she disappeared after the elections, yesterday was the only day we set our eyes on her. We have realised that she is just there to fill her stomach not to do anything for the community.

“So we are, therefore, of the view that, if nothing is done, we won’t cast our vote for her and we don’t even want her to come to the area,” he added.

Background

Dagbriboari is a small village situated 12-kilometres west of Gambaga, the second largest town in the East Mamprusi municipality. It was the epicenter of a scabies epidemic which later infected nearly 1,000 people across the region in August last year.

The community lacks so many things making living conditions increasingly unbearable for the residents.

There is no reliable source of clean drinking water in the community except two borehole facilities which break down regularly. The community has a small clinic built by the USAID but challenges such as inadequate staff and regular shortages of essential drugs continue to limit the effective and efficient operation of the heath centre.

School infrastructures are in deplorable state with no desks and other teaching and learning items, schoolchildren sit on the ground to take lessons while others bring their own desks from homes. And robbery attacks are common.

However, the major and immediate demand of the community is for the construction of the road linking the village to Gambaga.

Despite its huge economic benefits to the region, this road has been neglected for years, causing unspeakable sufferings to the residents. The road gets worse in the rainy season and the community is always cut off from the rest of the municipality. Robbery attacks are common due to the nature of the road.

Response

Both the minister and her team members were unavailable for comments.

However, the NPP in the region has rejected the accounts of how the incident occurred and accused the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of spreading propaganda.

The North East regional communication director of the party, Amos Walibe insisted the minister and her team had a successful meeting with the delegates, saying the video being circulated was staged by the NDC.

“She had the meeting with delegates and it was very successful, very peaceful. After that they continued to Tamboku and returned to Dagbriboari…presented some Veronica buckets for the community, and the minister, the MCE and the other entourage continued the journey coming back towards Gambaga.

“There is one guy from the community called Hamza, he orchestrated everything, masterminded all that happened. He mobilised some NDC youth to do [that],” Mr Walibe claimed.

 

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