Growing up as a little boy in Topease, a little rural community in the present Awutu Senya West constituency, I was made to have very strong pride in the constituency in which I was born.
My parents, both being teachers, exposed me to a lot of things. For example, growing up, my peers and myself had amazing love for great personalities who have carved a name for themselves in this rural region. They shaped our lives and ways we lived. At least for the few who had ambitions other than becoming farmers.
When we moved to Awutu Bawjiase in 1999, at a very tender age, I could still be proud of where I came from. Names like Kow Nkensen Arkaah (former Vice President of Ghana under JJ Rawlings), Emmanuel Ababio Tetteh (Late father of Hannah Tetteh and Gizella Tetteh, former foreign minister and MP; and NDC Parliamentary Candidate respectively).
Micheal Essien (Global Football Icon) and the thrilling stories of Dode Akaabi (Princess of the Awutu Kingdom who became the first female ruler of the Ga Kingdom and also known for her exquisite taste for and the collection of beads) gave us hope to survive.
These people made us understand that our land was a land of possibilities and intrinsically, we can become everything we want to be if we put our minds to it. The land was pregnant with a lot of possibilities.
As rural as we were, we still paid attention to the politics and economy of the land. Suddenly after Kufuor became present, the constituency started seeing some facelift. With the arrival of the famous Ayensu Starch Company, we were destined for economic greatness.
The arrival of this factory was just what the constituency needed. It brought massive economic activities in the constituency, erupting back energetic flesh unto the dried skeletons of the people of Bawjiase and its environs. Major road constructions and income earning activities became the new normal.
As a little school boy, I could easily ascertain the joy and excitement on the faces of these factory workers and farmers who got picked up by tractors every morning and brought back home every evening. The Ayensu Starch Factory was seen as a life changer in the community those days.
Sadly enough, this factory is dead. As part of the many factories collapsed in the constituency, the Ayensu Starch factory met its untimely death like a woman in her prime, pregnant with a lot of potentials and hope for her children. Her uncles and fathers killed her, leaving her children in a state of tatted penury.
There came the construction of CHIPS Compounds under the erstwhile Mahama Government. This saw some improvement in the health sector of the constituency. Then also came some constructions at the famous Obratchire Senior Secondary Technical School. Then the Bawjiase Day Senior High School was built under the Hannah Tetteh-John Mahama regime as part of the E-Classroom projects of the government.
Vocational empowerment was equally noticed during this era with school dropouts undergoing vocational trainings and subsequently equipped to start trades for themselves.
This brought to fore the end of development in my beloved constituency. No boastful projects ever since. No major progress. Markets are too small for the increasing growth in population. Roads are warned out to the earth’s crust, perhaps beyond repairs. School blocks are as depleted as the heels of a poor man.
My constituency is dead. The constituency who once threw banquets for great personalities cannot boast of a single one now. No attention is given to Human Resource Capacity Building. Tens and Thousands of Government employees, not even a single youth of the constituency can be singled out to be the rising star of our land.
Apart from the elected few, no single voice is contributing to the national dialogue on governance and developments aside the few my people do at drinking bars and under trees. What did we do wrong? Where did we go wrong? We are not a remote constituency that is cut off from the beauty of Ghana. We have the full appreciation of evolution and technology. We are just few hours walk from Accra, the capital of Ghana hence we must not accept the typical rural status.
Let me ask my people this. Are you happy when you look around the community you live in? are you pleased by what you see in the lives of your children and family? Health, Education, infrastructure, roads, human resource, employment, are you pleased? I know your answers but do not blame anyone. Blame yourself.
Let us put ourselves through the miller’s blades and cut ourselves into shreds for bringing this unto ourselves. There is a problem in the choice of leaders of our constituency. We elect leaders who drive in clouts and come around with flamboyance, sweeping us off our feet with aesthetic flamboyance. We give the steering of the community to individuals who have no track records of delivery.
We cannot blame the leaders. Let us blame ourselves for being coerced to allocate power based on our momentary benefits. Our votes have been bought and this is the price we are paying for that.
What do I propose?
- Young individuals must be identified in the constituency and be groomed to understand the plight of the constituency. They must be prepared enough to take up entrepreneurial roles as well as leadership roles in the constituency.
- Every political candidate must present a ten-year documented progress plan to the constituents. Enough of the rhetoric. Enough of the vote buying. Let us debate policies and ideas in the constituency. Let the best idea be given the opportunity to lead the people. Documentation will lead to referral and accountability.
- Sitting MP and MCE must account to the people on what they have used the constituency fund for. Of course, there are accountability procedures made available by law but is in imperative that as a people, we demand accountability from the leaders we elect.
I am hopeful of the future of the constituency. The youth and people of the constituency are hopeful too. We all yen for a day where a Moses will spring up from amongst its indigenes, understanding the plight and condition of the people with first-hand experience, driving the remnants of the constituency to ultimate salvation.
Until then, we shall keep mining. As miners beneath several layers under the ground, we will continue to dig until we find that ‘Hope Diamond’. Someday, when the dawn breaks and sun rise, so shall Awutu Senya West Constituency Rise. Awutu Senya West Constituency shall rise in glory. I AM HOPEFUL.
By Jude DuaQuaye Tetteh | Concern Citizen