– Pelpuo jabs Akufo-Addo’s speech-writers
Hon. Dr. Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Member of Parliament for Wa Central Constituency, in the Upper West Region, has waded in the controversy surrounding the Wa Water Project commissioned by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo at Wa on Tuesday, this week, asking the speech writers of the President to rise above petty politicking.
According to him, the controversy over when the project actually started and who did what could have been settled had the President’s handlers done some diligent research on the project.
In an interview with The Republic on the matter, which has generated much debate in the media, Hon. Pelpuo said he first raised a question to the then Minister of Water Resources, Work and Housing, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, on the floor of parliament in 2008, as to when the Wa township would get water.
He said the then minister told parliament that the water table in Wa was so low that it was impossible to get water through pipes under the Ghana Water Company supply system.
The MP noted that, to the best of his knowledge, there was no evidence that the project commenced during the era of John Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and that it was the NDC government, under late John Evans Atta Mills, that the project started.
President Akufo-Addo, as part of his two-day visit to the Upper West Region, commissioned the $51.5 million Jambussi water project, which was constructed with a facility from the Korean Exim Bank, to supply 3.3 million gallons of water per day to the 100,705 residents of Wa.
According to him, the project was begun “at the time of the great Ghanaian leader, John Agyekum Kufuor.”
The President noted that “it was in his (President Kufuor’s) time that the financing for this project was secured, as far back as 2008. But, unfortunately, after he left [office in 2008], it took five years under the NDC successor governments before the construction of the project began.”
He added that “God has his own way of doing things. A project that was begun by Kufuor is going to be commissioned by Akufo-Addo. That is the way the Almighty works.”
But Dr. Pelpuo, who recounted the genesis of the project to this paper, indicated that he first raised the matter at Cabinet when, as MP and Minister of Youth and Sports, and it was supported unanimously at the meeting.
Following that, he said, further discussion was made between the Ministry of Finance and the Korean company, leading to signing of the agreement between 2012 and 2013, stressing that the actual work commenced at project site between 2014 and 2016.
He however dismissed the claim made by President Nana Akufo Addo that the then NPP government secured funding for the Wa water project and charged the President’s speech-writer to do better to save the presidency from further embarrassment for claiming work not done by the NPP.
The Wa Central lawmaker argued that since there are records to indicate when the project or the funding was secured, there was no need of debate and that it was time the NPP and the President’s handlers treated Ghanaians with some respect, as claiming something they have not done signals bad politics.
He cited the Job 600 project, which was commissioned by former President John Mahama, stating that when the former President was commissioning the project he acknowledged all leaders who played a role, namely Jerry John Rawlings, John Kufour, John Evans Mills and himself, John Mahama.
According to Hon. Pelpuo that is the best policy and “that you acknowledge where it is due and not play down the effort of government that started the whole thing.”
Nevertheless, he said, the project has come to end the water problem that bedeviled the people of Wa and its environs for years, noting,” I think this project has brought great relief to my people who endured years in search of water.”
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba