The Ashanti Region is the second most popular region in Ghana, the second-largest contributor to the national economy in terms of revenue and resources, and the second biggest local economy. Considering these factors, the region should have been one of the most important regions when it comes to developmental projects. That is not the case; the region is one of the least developed regions in the country.
Since the inception of the fourth (4th) Republic of Ghana, the Ashanti Region has been the ‘stronghold’ of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Each year, they are being fed with campaign promises from all the political parties in the country. The Ashanti Region voted for the NPP based on the promises they made to them when they were in opposition, and below are some of the many promises that haven’t been fulfilled.
The Kumasi Airport is a national airport in Ghana serving Kumasi, which is the capital city of the region. The NPP promised the people of Kumasi that when they come into power, they would upgrade the state of the airport from a local airport to an international airport.
Disrespectfully, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako A.K.A Chairman Wontumi, sat on television and described the existing structure as a “kitchen airport.” Disrespectful in the sense that a government which promised to upgrade the existing state has made little or no effort at all and instead of feeling pity, he rather sat on TV and spoke ill about the existing structure.
“We are going to destroy everything; Mahama used $29 million to build the airport, when we come and assessed it, it was $4 million. So now we are building ultramodern airport, we are not talking about kitchen airport; we are talking about airport that anybody can travel,” he stated.
The NDC led by John Mahama with assistance from Otumfuo Osei Tutu II commissioned the first phase of the Kumasi airport upgrading. The upgrade made, extended the runways and installed Aeronautical Ground Lighting system (AGL), making it possible for landing and takeoffs at night. This upgrade was a major step in the process of transforming the airport to international status and it extended the airport’s operational hours.
Later in December 2016, the then President John Mahama went back to cut sod for the commencement of phase two of the Kumasi International Airport Project. Two years after the NPP came into power, Akufo-Addo went back to cut sod for the commencement of phase two again, even though John Mahama had done that already. This clearly shows that the NPP has not made any change to the airport as they claimed they would when they were in opposition.
COMPLETION OF THE BOANKRA INLAND PORT
The Boankra Inland Port was expected to be a transformation project for the people of Boankra and its environs, but 18 years after the ceremonial sod-cutting which was done with pomp and ceremony, the Boankra Inland Port has virtually become a mirage as a result of neglect. The port has the Boankra Shippers Central Administration Block, the extension of electricity, water and telephone and a temporary access road connecting the inland port to the Kumasi-Konongo highway. (Source: graphic.com.gh)
The project has been left to deteriorate as all the subsequent governments have ignored the project. This project if completed, could provide employment for over 200 unemployed residents in the region. The Chiefs and people of Boankra have now given up hope; as they think the project will never be completed. The NPP promised to complete the project for the people of Boankra, but they have totally failed to fulfil the promise they made to people of the Ashanti Region.
In every country, the road that links the second growing city to the capital city is one of the government’s main priorities. That is not the case in Ghana; the road that links Accra to Kumasi is a ‘death trap’. The Accra-Kumasi highway has witnessed over 200 accidents due to the poor road system.
The NPP promised to improve the road network for the people of the Ashanti Region.
The President in August 2018 cut sod for the commencement of the Kumasi roads facelift project which included the asphaltic overlay of 135 kilometres of roads in the Kumasi Metropolis. After a short while, the contractors abandoned the project for “whatever” reason.
Over a year later, the President on his visit to the region delivered another promise about the resumption of the projects; stating that all issues have been resolved. Since that time, no major change has been seen in the road network in the region. The President also stated that 2020 is the year of roads, but still, nothing significant has been made to the people of the Ashanti Region.
The above are some of the campaign promises that the people of the Ashanti Region heard and decided to vote for the NPP. The Ashanti Region has now witnessed the NDC and the NPP government, and in 2020, WILL THE ASHANTI REGION VOTE FOR “MERE PROMISES” again?