From Asawase’s Aboabo Market to Adobewura, Kumawu to Kuntunase and from Ofinso to Obuasi one name was on the lips of the people; they called the President ‘Oseadieyor”.
The Ashanti region is huge in many ways from population, through natural resources to mere land span. So, when the announcement of the President’s tour of the region came, it looked like any other tour of the country. There was no hype and no lengthy discussions about what the Ashanti region was to churn out. What was going to be new about this one this time? That is the question the President’s seventh tour of the Ashanti region answered forcefully, not in rhetoric, but in tangible outcomes.
Consensus For Peace and Stability
The President carefully, unlike the other regional tours met with the leaders of moral society in the region, namely the Muslim, traditional and Christian. In all those engagements the President made a strong case for peaceful conduct of Ghanaians in the coming campaign and elections appealing for the religious leaders to assert their voices of conscience for the sake of national stability. He called on the youth not to become tools for politicians needing to use them for their own ends. But he also assured the leaders of those communities of his readiness to play his part as Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces in order to preserve the stability of the country noting also the importance of that in national development.
Even if no impact was made at all, one thing was consistent throughout these engagements of the President with the moral society of Ashanti; consensus was built not only for peace in the coming elections but also towards national stability.
Perhaps what excited the people of the Ashanti region most was the level of progress chalked by the President’s government in the region in the past three and a half years. At every gathering, the mention of projects completed or being constructed by the government of the National Democratic Congress under President Mahama attracted wild cheers. From Asawase’s Aboabo Market to Adobewura, Kumawu to Kuntunase and from Ofinso to Obuasi one name was on the lips of the people; they called the President ‘Oseadieyor’, meaning a man who promises and delivers. This is not only a recognition of the President’s hard work but also the people’s recognition of the fact that compared to other political leaders, the President has been the one who lives up to his words.
In Kumawu the people called him Oseadieyor because he promised and is building for them a brand new 120-bed hospital plus an ultra-modern water system. In Kuntunase they hailed him because the President cut sod for the construction of a brand new campus of the Kumasi Polytechnic and also inaugurated two centres, one for Renewable Energy and the other for Entrepreneurship, for the Polytechnic. At Adobewura in the Atwima Mponua District the President inaugurated a brand new Community Day Senior High School. On the same day the President also inaugurated a bigger day Senior High School at Adugyama in the Ahafo-Ano South District which has attached to it a Headteacher’s bungalow, a block of staff flats, a canteen, a security post built like the national Independence Arch. Each of these two schools has the capacity to enroll 2500 students.
In Fomena, the Adansihene Nana Pegyakotwene Bonsra Afriyie II who is the paramount chief of Adansi could not hold back his joy at the work of the President in his kingdom. The Chief in excitement exclaimed “wow” at the size and quality of District Hospital in Fomena under construction which he and the President inspected together. As if in a bid to outdo their paramount chief, the people of Fumso in Adansi thronged the street in large numbers blocking the road and insisting that unless the President came out and spoke to them, which he did, they would not let him through to his New Edubiase destination. The President then proceeded to New Edubiase to cut sod for a new stadium to be built for the people in that area which is also a mining area. The President also made clear while there that he is in talks with the investors of the Obuasi Gold mines to revive mining in the area since that would have a positive impact on the lives of the people.
If the projects above got the chiefs exclaiming “wow”, one can imagine the response of the people who learned about the next two game-changing projects. At Afari, when the President went there to inspect work on the massive 500-bed military hospital which, according to him, is the second military hospital in Ghana after the first was built during the Second World War, the approving excitement was quite loud. Many of the locals who had never seen the project until this inspection could not hide their appreciation. This hospital is slated, according to the contractor, to be soft opened in the third quarter of 2017. The second jaw-dropping one is the Kumasi Central Market project which, according to the President will be the biggest and most modern market in the whole of Africa when completed. He also explained that its construction is necessary because of Kumasi being a focal point of business people from Mali and Burkina Faso. Again, chiefs who normally did not clap on public occasions now clapped when the President announced his plan to dualise the trunk road from Kumasi to Accra in his next term.
At all the places the President went to, and the people he met, the embrace was warm as the confessions of his contribution to the socio-economic infrastructure development of Ashanti region was ever present. To Ashanti, he went, he saw and he got loved the more.
After the trip one can only look back at this beautiful region and remember the crowds that turned up at Fumso through Fomena to Ofinso and Manhyia, just to welcome and appreciate President Mahama for the progress he is making in their lives. One cannot forget the wild jubilations by the youth of Adansi, the chants of support given him during his walk from the Mosque to the Market in Asawase and the warm embrace of the Chiefs and students of Bekwai when he inaugurated the brand new ultra-modern girls’ dormitory block at the SDA Secondary school to accommodate 1200 girls; an investment aimed at bridging the gender gap in educational attainment in the area.
One cannot forget the faces of excited young people across the length and breadth of Ashanteman who thronged each venue planned and unplanned during this tour. In all, one thing was clear, Ashanti region has truly fallen in love with John Mahama for one reason; He is their ‘Oseadieyor’.