The Upper West Regional Chapter of the National Democratic Congress has expressed its displeasure over the non-recognition of former President, John Mahama’s contribution towards the region receiving its first Aayalolo buses.
According to the group, the commissioning of two Aayalolo buses by the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih without acknowledging the efforts of the former president sought to create a false impression that the ruling government had spearheaded the project.
“Surrogates of the NPP in the region took to their Facebook walls and social handles to create the impression that the initiative was from the NPP government,” they said in a statement seeking to “set the record straight.”
Expressing their displeasure, they said “It would have been modest and respectful if the NPP had at least acknowledged the efforts of President Mahama in the Ayalolo bus service, but they were silent about that and sought to unilaterally take the credit for Mahama’s achievement.
“Once the NPP have failed to give credit where it is due, we in the NDC have taken it upon ourselves to let the general public know the history surrounding the Ayalolo bus services and to emphatically place on record that the Ayalolo Bus Service which the NPP is desperately trying to take credit for, is the brain child and achievement of President Mahama and the NDC.
“And we also wish to emphasize that we will resist every attempt by the clueless NPP to deride the achievements of the NDC and take credit for work that they did not do just as they tried to do on the Upper West Regional Hospital and the Jambusi Water Projects among others,” the group said.
Below is their full statement;
UW-NDC COMMENDS VISIONARY JOHN MAHAMA FOR INTRODUCING THE AAYALOLO BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can as long as ever you can’’. John Wesley
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some differences that you have lived and lived well’’- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead’’- Nelson Mandela.
The National Democratic Congress in the Upper West Region has become aware of the commissioning of two (2) Aayalolo buses by the Upper West Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih at the forecourt of the Regional Coordinating Council yesterday, 13th February, 2023. The Minister during the commissioning of the two (2) buses, failed to acknowledge the efforts of the former President, His excellency John Dramani Mahama who is the architect of this fantastic idea. At the said commissioning, the Minister sought to create the impression that, the initiative was from the incompetent President Akufo Addo.
Subsequently, surrogates of the NPP in the region, took to their Facebook walls and social handles to create the impression that the initiative was from the NPP government. It is against this backdrop that we in the NDC in the UWR seek to set the records straight for all to know. As we are all aware, the name Aayalolo is a word from the Ga language which means “still moving on”. As part of measures to improve and modernise the road transport delivery system, especially urban transport, NDC in its 2012 manifesto promised to among other things, provide appropriate policies and regulatory framework which would encourage investments in mass transit system to become attractive and accessible to all classes of people.
President Mahama upon assuming office in January 7, 2013 put in place a team of competent men and women to come out with a roadmap for the transport system that would ease the congestion on our roads and make both human and vehicular movement easy and accessible to all. As a result, the Aayalolo bus system was designed to help deal with these challenges associated with transportation in the major corridors of the cities, especially the city of Accra.It was the belief of the NDC government that, the Aayalolo bus system would help in diverse ways including the reduction in travel time along the busy corridors which would be a major advantage to workers.
Subsequently in November, 2016, the then Bus Rapid Transit System and now Quality Bus service, popularly called Aayalolo was launched by President John Mahama with a total of 245 Aayalolo Buses. The project was funded by four parties, The World Bank, The Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), The Government of Ghana and the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund and was implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Department of Urban Roads. The initial cost of the project was estimated at $95 million.These buses, with the capacity to take 80 passengers, were equipped with GPS, cameras, television monitors and mobile charging points.
At the inaugural ceremony of the service, President Mahama made a number of observations:He said transportation played an important role in propelling economic growth and sustainable poverty reduction.It facilitated the haulage of goods, movement of people and general integration of the rural and urban economies.President Mahama noted that transport system in Accra was characterised by heavy congestion, particularly during the peak periods, heavy dependence on informal bus services and inadequate facilities for pedestrians.President Mahama also revealed that plans were far advanced to deploy at least 100 of these buses to all regional capitals. Each region was to receive at least 10 buses.
Unfortunately, the NDC lost the 2016 elections to the NPP and as typical of the NPP, they came in and suspended this laudable idea in October, 2018 all in the name of value-for-money audit. The NPP government also alleged corruption and for well over six years, they could not present any shred of evidence to substantiate their allegations. Going forward, despite the government’s injection of an additional GH¢4.5 million into the operations of the Aayalolo Bus Service, the NPP could not sustain the services until it was shamefully suspended in late 2018.
For the entire period that these buses were left idle and at the mercy of the weather, Ghana lost an estimated GHC 11.3 million that could have accrued to the state. Meanwhile, government also owed workers’ salaries of the Ayalolo Bus service. One wonders what informed the decision to suspend the bus service.
But for the ill-informed suspension of the service, these buses would have been in the regions long ago which would have generated more revenue for the state. To say the least, this government can be compared to a driver who has no idea of his destination and yet is moving on top speed, and will not even slow down to listen to the concerns of the passengers on board. For crying out loud, why will a government that is in intensive care unit close down toll booths that would have generated approx. 98 million Ghana cedis annually?
Why will a government that just lost 12.8 billion Ghana cedis to corruption and mismanagement be at the IMF begging to be given 3 billion dollars?
No one takes this government seriously anymore and we have become the laughing stock of the global community. Now on the 13th February, 2023 after a long period of suspending the Ayalolo bus service, and denying the regions of their share, the people of Upper West Region woke up to the shocking news of the Upper West Regional Minister commissioning only two buses allocated to the region.
From the evidence so far, the following questions are begging for answers: Where are the remaining 8 buses due to the region? Why was the region given just 2 buses? Is it because we are Upper West Region? Where is the evidence of the corruption allegation levelled against President Mahama on the acquisition of these buses? Why the desperate attempt to take credit for President Mahama’s achievements?
Beyond these tales of gross incompetence, unprecedented corruption, naked thievery, and mismanagement that had plunged this country into a ditch, fast forward to 2022, the NPP shamefully decided to surreptitiously release these buses to the various regions without going by the initial laid down plans, in order to score cheap political points for their propaganda machinery.
It would have been modest and respectful if the NPP had at least acknowledged the efforts of President Mahama in the Ayalolo bus service, but they were silent about that and sought to unilaterally take the credit for Mahama’s achievement. Once the NPP have failed to give credit where it is due, we in the NDC have taken it upon ourselves to let the general public know the history surrounding the Ayalolo bus services and to emphatically place on record that the Ayalolo Bus Service which the NPP is desperately trying to take credit for, is the brain child and achievement of President Mahama and the NDC, and we also wish to emphasize that we will resist every attempt by the clueless NPP to deride the achievements of the NDC and take credit for work that they did not do just as they tried to do on the Upper West Regional Hospital and the Jambusi Water Projects among others.
We wish to assure the incompetent NPP that we shall match them boot-for-boot and set the records straight.
Long Live NDC
Long Live Ghana
Regional Communication Officer