On Thursday, February 26, this year, the Chamber of Parliament erupted in applause, when President John Dramani Mahama, briefly suspended his 2015 State of the Nation Address to acknowledge the presence of his political rival, Nana Akufo-Addo and went on to invite him, to come along to a sod -cutting ceremony to upgrade the Kyebi township roads.
But the event, last Wednesday, took place at Kyebi, marking the commencement of a US$450-million road rehabilitation project in cocoa-growing areas in the country, but without the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo, in his adopted hometown of Kyebi, where he once served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 16 years.
The project, which is being financed by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), would see roads within the Adeiso, Asamankese, Bunso and Kyebi catchment areas in the Eastern Region, tremendously improved.
It is not clear why Nana Addo was not in Kyebi to witness the ceremony to upgrade the roads, which have been in a very deplorable state, forcing the Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, sometime last year, to lead a group of his sub-chiefs to demonstrate against the Mahama government, pouring libations, while dressed in traditional war regalia.
Meanwhile, NPP insiders, have said that Nana Addo and his distant cousin, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, have not been on the best of terms in recent times.
It even reported that, Nana Addo’s recent visit to Kyebi to endorse incumbent MP, Lawyer Samuel Atta Akyea, was because, the Akyem overlord’s preferred candidate, Kwame Boateng, who got 76 votes was going to dislodge the MP, who emerged victorious with 332 votes. One Kingsley Agyemang bagged 48 votes.
In February, President Mahama, informed Parliament of plans to improve the road network at Kyebi in the Eastern Region, and invited Nana Addo to travel with him to Kyebi.
“I would want to invite my good friend Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to join me as we inspect the upgrading of the Kyebi township roads,” he said.
President Mahama, went on to add that having been informed that Akufo-Addo was in Parliament, he wanted to acknowledge the presence of his “friend”, with whom he had been in Parliament for “12 wonderful years”.
“Respect, Nana,” the President stated, eliciting cheers and applause from the MPs. Akufo-Addo, responded to the President’s shout-out by bowing slightly, with a broad smile illuminating his face.
At the sod cutting ceremony, President Mahama said, the amount, to be released in three installments of US$150 million dollars annually, would be used to finance selected roads in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Brong-Ahafo Regions, under the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Project.
Addressing a gathering of chiefs and people at the ceremony, President Mahama, gave the assurance that the project would not delay, since monies have already being allocated for it.
“My presence here today coincides with the Ohumka festival; I believe it is the making of God. Like Nana said, I and the people of the Upper West Akim district have a strong family bond now.
This is because, the 200-day community SHS we commissioned last year, started from this community.
Today I am here again to undertake yet another important project, the cocoa road projects. Adeiso again was chosen to kickstart this project.”
He later moved to Kyebi and met with the Okyehene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, in his palace. He was said to have commended government for embarking on the project.
Yesterday, the President was in Ashanti Region, specifically New Edubiasi and Ashanti Bekwai to cut sods for the commencement of their roads also under the US$450-million road rehabilitation project in cocoa-growing areas in the country.