By Amidu Abdallah (Damongo)
Let me first congratulate my good friend Karim Musah Kusubari on his nomination as MCE for the West Gonja Municipal Assembly. Regretably, the unnecessary delay in your nomination already spells misgivings among critical observers about your ability to deliver within the time left on your mandate.
As you take the mantle of leadership in the municipality, you’ll have to prove your doubters wrong. There are those who are of the strong view that, you’re going to be a poodle pliant for the manipulation and shenanigans of the MP and minister for Lands and Natural Resources. So you’ll have to endeavor to wean your office off the whims and caprices of the MP for Damongo.
Under the tenure of your immediate predecessor, the municipality saw an unfortunate and unprecedented polarization along political lines. Your predecessor did little or nothing to ensure Unity and Cohesion among citizens within the municipality. I pray and hope that you’ll rise above overly petty political leanings and pull all citizens along, regardless of their political, ethnic and religious persuation for a common purpose.
You also come at a time key sectors of the economy within the municipality are on a downward spiral.
The Education sector is one of those areas hugely suffering a decline. A cursory look at the 2020 WASSCE results shows an abysmal performance of the two public Senior High Schools within the municipality. Its instructive to note that only 5% of students of the Damongo SHS who sat for the WASSCE last year passed. This means that a scary 95% of students failed at DASS. An appalling 0.89% of students of NDESCO who sat for the WASSCE last year passed. This implies a scary 99.11% of students failed at NDESCO.
The story isn’t any different in the BECE. This worrying situation will need deliberate intervention from your office to salvage the falling standards.
You also come at a time that several of the boreholes within the municipality have broken down and have completely been abandoned by your predecessor to the cost of our womenfolk who trek long distances during the dry season in search of water. The people will expect you to also remind your appointer of his promise to commence work on the so called Damongo Water Project in August this year.
Worthy of your attention is also the deteriorating security situation in the municipality. Business owners no longer feel safe going about their lawful businesses. The recent rampant incidence of thievery and breaking into shops of business owners have become a worry to business owners. You will need to immediately fashion out bye-laws with the help of Assembly persons to clamp down on such miscreants to ensure a safe business environment for the municipality.
Finally, you come at a time that pervasive corruption,excessive taxation and reckless borrowing by your appointer Nana Akufo Addo has culminated in high cost of living, which has subjected the people to untold hardships. The local economy has seen abominable and unprecedented increases in commodity prices never witnessed in the history of this country. The following basic commodities have become clearly unaffordable to the ordinary citizen:
A bag of sugar which was sold at Ghc150 in 2016 now sells for Ghc250
A bag of cement which sold at Ghc29 in 2016 now sells at Ghc52.
A bowl of gari which was sold at Ghc5 in 2016 has galloped to Ghc12 now
A gallon of petrol which was Ghc14 in 2016 has now jumped to Ghc32.
A bag of fertilizer which was Ghc80 in 2016 has now sky rocketed to Ghc200.
A tricycle(Motorking) load of cassava used by our women folk for gari processing which was sold for Ghc300 has now jumped to a whopping Ghc1000.
The fare from Damongo to Tamale which was Ghc8 in 2016 has now increased to Ghc15.
Those are the harsh economic realities the people within your municipality are enduring under the government of your appointer.
Once again, I congratulate you on your nomination as MCE for the municipality. Its my fervent prayer that, you hit the ground running after your confirmation to bring development and relief to the municipality..
I wish you well in your new office Sir.
22nd September, 2021.