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No Dev’t, No Campaign – Residents Of Charikpong To Politicians   
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The chiefs and people of the Charikpong traditional area in the Upper West Region, have resolved to ban all political activities in the area if no attempts are made by government to address their concerns about the lack of electricity and good road network infrastructure, by the end of October this year.

They have expressed their “displeasure, disappointment and frustration” at what they say is ‘the total neglect of the traditional area.

The decision was contained in a resolution presented to the Regional Coordinating Council, through the Nadowli- Kaleo District Assembly.

A statement signed by some chiefs and opinion leaders of the area said, “It is the resolve of the chiefs and the people of the Charikpong Traditional Area, our ancestors and gods that from henceforth, there shall be no partisan political activity in whatever form within the Traditional area,until the development authorities take concrete steps to address the relative deprivation of the Traditional Area.”

The group described as worrying, the absence of electricity in the area despite the promises and assurances given by successive governments.

According to them, although high tension poles were distributed in communities along the road and were promised electricity under the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP) in the year 2000, no single village nor community has been connected to the national electricity grid.

Moreover, Charikpong was excluded from the Chinese Electrification Project despite the Nadowli-Kaleo constituency selecting four communities (including Chari-Sombo, Kuuri, Sampina and Saan) in the traditional area for connection.

Poor Road Network
On the deplorable state of the roads, the statement noted that “almost all the thirty-four communities are connected to each other by foot paths which are crisscrossed by rivers and streams making movement from one community to the other impossible particularly in the rainy season,”

The development, they said has led to further deprivation as some professionals such as health workers and teachers refuse postings to the area. According to them, others who accept the offer usually reside in the District capital.

Failed Attempts
The community bemoaned failed attempts to get their issues addressed. One instance was when the DCE for the Nadowli –Kaleo District Assembly prevailed on them to suspend an earlier intended demonstration to express their displeasure at the deprivation of the area.

Another was a failed attempt to get the incumbent MP for the area, Alban Bagbin to get their issues addressed.
The town currently has fifteen basic schools, one senior high school,a health centre and three CHPS zones. However the residents say “the town is yet to maximize any accrued benefit from these facilities due to the absence of electricity.”

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, the Chairman of Chirakpong Electricity Committee, Francis Xavier Kambotuu, was however hopeful of a possible intervention from the presidency.
“The responses we have been getting do not indicate that there is any hope for us, so we are coming out to let the rest of the country hear of our plight if we can be assisted…it is not automatic but since we have a caring president, if he hears of it, he will definitely come to our aid,” he said.

Xavier Kambotuu however maintained their stance of not allowing for any political activity until all concerns raised are duly resolved,

“This is something that affects the community and we do not even think anyone will dare come to engage us in political activity without showing interest in solving our problems. We have taken part in all political activities since 1992 and we do not see the benefit in doing some of these again, so we think enough is enough,” he stated.
Source: Citifmonline.com

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