On a countless number of occasions Ghanaians have had cause to complain about the poor state of the road between Nsawam and Suhum which is part of the larger Accra – Kumasi road project especially during the rainy season as the road becomes unmotorable. It may thus seem like a fruitless effort on my part to also talk about this very issue but please indulge me for a few minutes.
Although this issue has been widely discussed, my motivation to still talk about it irrespective is because of a story Chinua Achebe told in his book Things Fall Apart and I quote that story verbatim “Mosquito had asked Ear to marry him, whereupon Ear fell on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.”How much longer do you think you will live?” she asked. “You are already a skeleton.” Mosquito went away humiliated, and any time he passed her way he told Ear that he was still alive”.
What this story tells is that for as long as the problem of the uncompletion of the Suhum-Nsawam road persists, Ghanaians and anyone who cares will continue talking about it because just like the Ear, until Mosquito dies, it will have no peace of mind. Notable men like the Otumfuor Osei Tutu have had cause to complain about the Suhum roads not because they don’t any job to do, but like Achebe again said in Things fall apart, “A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.”
The problem of the Suhum –Nsawam road is a problem for all Ghanaians and especially more so for me because I happen to be from Suhum and have family who live in Suhum permanently. Some of those family members also happen to travel on the road sometimes for more than four times in a single week.
THE STORY OF THE SUHUM-NSAWAM ROAD.
I started Suhum Senior High and Technical School back in 2006 somewhere in October, and ironically the contract for the construction of the Suhum-Nsawam road was given out in November 2006. According to the contract, the road was expected to be completed in 2009, but after nine years, the road has still not been completed for whatever reason.
The main reason given by the government is the lack of funds and that the previous government did not provide any funding plan or funding arrangement for the project. I could have accepted this reason if we were in 2010 but in 2015, I cannot for one accept such a reason because any government worth its sort should after over six years have found a way to fund the project and complete it a long time ago. Our government seems to be able to have found funding for the Nkrumah Circle interchange but they couldn’t raise funding for the people of Suhum and Nsawam and their roads.
GHANA MATTERS, ACCRA MATTERS, SUHUM MATTERS.
More often than not, people would argue that Accra provides more in terms of GDP and job creation than other places and although I will not dispute that fact, if the main reason for government prioritizing the circle interchange to the Suhum-Nsawam road is the commercial value then I argue that Suhum also gives a lot to Ghana.
There are several companies in and around Suhum and Nsawam but I will single out to here being CHOCHO industries and JOY industries. These two companies create employment and produce goods which are used locally and exported to give Ghana foreign exchange. Hence one cannot argue that Suhum and Nsawam are less important than Circle.
Beyond this too, the road links Accra to Kumasi the second most populous region if not the most populous region besides Accra and one that has a lot of commercial importance to the country. The Gold mines, the factories and what-have-you that Kumasi provides as well as the cocoa all give Ghana important sources of revenue and create jobs and thus the road in between Accra and Kumasi is very important.
POLITICAL? NOT POLITICAL?
Some people have alluded to the fact that the governments’ unwillingness to complete the Suhum section of the Accra Kumasi road is because the government does not see the political value in completing a road that links two regions that have consistently voted NPP. I am in no position to tell whether this is the true reason or not, but if it is then I have one advice from the book Things fall apart for those in government, “You do not know me,’ said Tortoise. ‘I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself.”
If our government does not learn from the sayings of this wise tortoise, then I have said enough. Next year it would be a decade since the road was penned down for construction and was awarded to a contractor. I will buy a bottle of Champagne go to my father’s house in Suhum and toast to a decade of the construction of the Suhum – Nsawam road and let the people of Ghana judge the matter for us all by voting against the people who have acted heartlessly against us.
Until I write to you again, good bye for now.
GRANDSON. ALBERT OPARE.