A former Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr. Isaac Adjei-Mensah has criticized the Akufo-Addo government for failing to fix the bad roads in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality in the Western Region.
He said the Mahama-led government in which he served as a minister awarded many road contracts in the area, but the Akufo-Addo government, after taking over power, halted the construction of the roads.
He is, therefore, blaming the government for the bad nature of the Tarkwa roads, stressing that the government is not committed to fixing the roads in the area despite the numerous promises given the people.
His comment comes on the back of a protest staged by a group of residents of Tarkwa-Nsuaem over the nature of their roads. The group known as Concerned Citizens of Tarkwa hit the streets in anger after a two-week ultimatum they gave to the government to fix the roads was ignored.
The protestors wearing red bands with placards blocked the main road, set ablaze car tyres in the middle of the road and prevented vehicles from moving in and out of the municipality.
Some of the protestors said they voted massively for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) into government because they were promised of better roads.
“We are disappointed in this government…Our roads are too bad and they [government] seem not care,” some demonstrators angrily said.
But reacting to the issue on Dwaboase, a political talk show on Power 97.9 FM, Mr Adje-Mensah whose constituency, Wassa East, shares boundary with Tarkwa, said he did not know why the government had not fixed the roads after they [NDC government] set the tone for work to commence on some of the major roads in the area.
“It is unacceptable, I’m not referring to the people demonstrating against the bad roads but the government…we maintained some of the roads in Tarkwa but as the town continues to develop, other roads need to be fixed to meet the needs of the people. I don’t see why the government is not tarring the roads,” the former minister said in Akan.
He observed that construction works on the roads had delayed because the government could not secure enough funding for the road projects.
“I hear Asabea [the contractor on the road] has not been paid for the project…This [NPP] administration is not willing to fix the roads and I see this as an insult to the chiefs and people of the area because the Roads Minister was there recently and made a lot of promises to the people,” he added.
Meanwhile, one of the coordinators of the demonstrators, Eric Asiedu who spoke to Accra-based Starr FM stated that they were closely monitoring actions to be taken by the authorities to address their concerns, else more protests await them.
He said the demonstration was to “teach authorities in the area lessons” adding, “After two weeks if any action does not take place, another press conference will come.”
But the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Gilbert Ken Asmah has appealed to the demonstrators to resort to dialogue than hitting the streets again.
He said the concerns of the residents had been forwarded to the Western Regional Minister for further action.