Joe Gidisu Goes 'Mad'

The Minister for Roads and Highways who doubles as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for the Central Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, Hon. Joe Gidisu, has expressed outrage and disgust over accusations that he is undermining the party in his constituency. The accusation was made by the NDC constituency executives of Central Tongu, who said the NDC is in crisis in the constituency and accused Hon. Gidisu of fighting party executives and sympathizers, including some chiefs and people in the constituency. They also charged the minister of cruelty towards some party members whom he suspects were not in his camp during the party’s parliamentary primaries in September 2011, and affirmed that his posture has divided the entire party membership and almost ground its activities to a standstill in the constituency. The party executives disclosed that “Hon. Joe Gidisu seems not to have come to terms with development issues in the constituency after winning the parliamentary primary elections and has not been cooperating with the NDC faithful.” One of them even complained that: “We heard him [Gidisu] saying ‘abaah’ you people of Central Tongu constituency should be aware that I am not the Minister of Roads and Highways for the people of Central Tongu alone. [So] stop disturbing me [over] the construction of your roads… Enough is enough. Period!’” This was after some party executives had petitioned him to aid in the construction of the road linking Sogakope-Dover junction to Mepe Traditional Area. Speaking to 'Today', another constituency executive said: “What was quite disheartening… is that after Hon. Gidisu persistently ignored calls to help construct the said road, he managed to see to the construction of the road from Adidome Junction to Bakpa, his home town, in no time.” They dared the minister to deny that he was instrumental in the construction of that road, and even accused him of giving contracts for minor roads and school building projects to his cronies. The Central Tongu NDC alleged that their MP did not visit a single polling station in the constituency during the just-ended biometric voter registration exercise, except the time he went to register. Speaking to Today in an exclusive interview, Hon. Gidisu did not hide his surprise and anger, describing the allegations and accusations as “unfortunate.” He pointed out that the allegations are simply calculated to malign his hard-earned reputation and integrity in total disregard of all the hard work he has done in the constituency. He stated that aside the blatant and malicious falsehood they are peddling, the NDC executives are engaged in various acts with the intention of inciting the people of the area against him. “I have no qualms about any NDC executives in the area exercising their right to freedom of expressions. However, when the motive is to denigrate and destroy people’s reputation, then one has to take a serious view of the brand of the NDC culture we want to… develop and promote in our traditional area as one people with a common destiny.” He disclosed that as MP he has helped improve social condition and brought infrastructural development to Central Tongu, and set up a sponsorship scheme. The area was left behind in the area of infrastructure during the Kufuor administration, but courtesy his good work and Mills administration the area is now rated as one of the fastest growing in the Volta Region. Hon. Gidisu admitted that the number of people on the new biometric register is less than what was in the old voters’ register, but he argued that the inconsistency is the result of some people who live in the constituency leaving for school and work outside in other areas. He disclosed that the Mills administration has plans to start the construction of the road linking Sogakope-Dove Junction to Mepe and also through Mafi-Akramador to Battor Aveyime. He assured the people that he will run a clean campaign devoid of thuggery and insults. He added that peace is an essential commodity that the people of Central Tongu must do well to cherish. Peace ensures prosperity, he affirmed, and urged the youth to exercise maximum restraint even at extreme provocation, because elections are about contest of ideas and not violence, insults or thuggery. He stated that the development of the Central Tongu is on course, and listed the renovation of dilapidated schools, provision of free NHIS cards for thousands of people, construction of drainage systems, creation of job opportunities, granting loans from the Micro-finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to women in the area, extension of electricity to some villages as some of his achievements as an MP. Hon Gidisu promised that the area would see more development projects after the December 7 polls.