MP, chief clash

Togbe Kotoku (middle reading the press statement)

Togbe Kotoku (middle reading the press statement)

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho Central, Mr Benjamin Kpodo, and the Divisional Chief of Kpenoe, Togbe Akoto III, yesterday clashed over the bad state of the road linking three towns to Ho.

The towns are Kpenoe, Takla and Hodzo.

It all started when the MP took newsmen to inspect the road, which is rugged, in an attempt to rubbish the claims made earlier this week by the chief concerning the road.

The reporters did not meet any workers at the scene as at 8.40 am, but he said they would come later.

The MP claimed that the 19-kilometre road had been awarded on contract and pointed at a grader parked along the road as an equipment brought by the construction firm, which he mentioned as Vellum Construction Works.

He said work had begun on the project with funding from the Road Fund.

However, the chief, who rushed to the spot upon hearing of the MP’s action, vehemently disputed the assertion, saying no work was ongoing, and the people did not know of the contractor.

Togbe Akoto denied the claim that the grader was for the contractor, stating categorically that it was the personal property of a resident of Kpenoe, Dr Hevor.

He said the shoulders of the road were hurriedly graded at the weekend, when news of the planned press conference by the chiefs about the bad state of the road reached the MP’s notice.

The journalists observed that there was no notice board at the project site stating the details of the project but Mr Kpodo responded that “they have just started work, so they will do that later”.

MP: I agree that the road is bad, but I disagree with reports that no vehicles can be seen on the road. Work has started on the road.

Togbe Akoto: We cannot see any work on the road; you are only doing this to seek votes. No one has been introduced to us as the contractor of the road.

MP: Are these not vehicles on the road?

Togbe Akoto: The presence of these vehicles does not make the road a good one. They are struggling to traverse the road, unlike you who arrived here in your V8.

The MP told journalists that the two-week ultimatum given to government by the chiefs and people of Kpenoe, Takla and Hodzo to fix the road, was unnecessary as the bitumen surfacing project would be executed within 15 months at a cost of GHS17.8million.

He assured that the road project would be executed with utmost seriousness, claiming that an attempt three months ago to introduce the contractor to the chiefs did not succeed, because Togbe Kotoku XI, the Paramount Chief of Kpenoe traditional area, was not in town at the time.
The MP then said the CHPS compound at Kpenoe, the ongoing six-unit classroom block at Takla under the GET Fund, and other infrastructural projects at Hodzo and Anyiboboe testified to the importance government attached to the area.

The chiefs and people of Kpenoe, Takla and Hodzo traditional areas in the Ho municipality on Tuesday, declared their intention to barricade their communities to embark on communal labour to repair some of the damages on the road which links the communities to Ho.

They warned that there would be a three-month ban on all political activities in the three traditional areas for the repair works to progress without any disruption, “if we do not see any concrete move by government to fix the problem within two weeks”.

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Kpenoe  

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