The President is passing this way!
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, there was an onslaught of municipal, administrative and governmental organisational might on Adentan.
That was because of news about the visit of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the site of the six skeletal footbridges adorning the N4 Highway, bordered to the west by parts of the La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMA) and to the east by the Adentan Municipal Assembly on Wendesday, December 5.
Agitation by the youth and residents of the area because of the frequent knockdowns on the highway had finally got the President to pay a visit to the site of the footbridges, which in the aftermath of the agitation had been awarded to contractors to complete outstanding ramps for functional structures for use by pedestrians.
The news that the President was visiting suddenly showed the presence, administrative acumen and governance capacity of the local assemblies and governmental agencies.
Even the private contractors who were to build metal railings along the median of the highway were not to be left out as a number of men on site along the highway dug away to ensure that the railings were fixed before the grand arrival.
A team of men in green uniform from the assembly were going about pulling off all unauthorised banners, notices, billboards, placards and signage that they thought were unsightly for the President.
They went about that with a lot of zeal, following a slow moving pickup van and throwing into its bucket all materials they thought might offend the first gentleman.
Then there was a team of Zoomlion cleaners who were sweeping and weeding the median and sides of the highway.
All crevices and cracks in the concrete boarders along the highway were being given a thorough clean.
Additionally, they also swept all offending materials that might not be pleasing to the eye of Mr President.
Finally, there were some officials from the assemblies, civil engineers and other technocrats, some from the Parks and Gardens, under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) at hand to ensure the aesthetic and engineering balance and beauty of it all to the President, when he finally arrived the following day.
The efficiency with which all the cleaning up and repairs along the N4 highway were done prior to the President’s visit was heart warming.
And why not? He is the “primus inter pares” (to wit: first among equals).
However, it was sad that that show of capacity to keep and maintain the highway was being deployed just because the President was to visit the area.
The reality of residents was overgrown bushes and grass along the sides of the highway and on the median that made it difficult to clearly see the highway when manoeuvring intersections, junctions and slip ways.
The reality of commuters were haphazardly sited signposts, banners and billboards at intersections that also made it difficult for drivers to see and manoeuvre safely.
Now that the President has passed through, commuters and residents are going to face the same challenges.
The grass and bushes will overgrow at the sides and median of the highway, making it difficult to clearly see.
Owners of shops adjoining the highway whose unauthorised signposts were seized and carted away will again find a carpenter or a welder to do a similar notice to be placed inconveniently along the sides of the highway.
The highway will go through another decade of neglect until the President decides to pass by once again and not merely pass through to the Peduase Lodge.
Perhaps, if the Minister of Roads is able, by his ingenuity to mobilise the funding required for the completion of the bridges and the contractors fulfil their promise to complete works by April next year, it would afford the President the opportunity to pass by again to inaugurate the footbridges left uncompleted for a decade.
It would be an opportunity to tell voters, as it would be in the campaigning period, that he promised to do and he has done it!
It would also be time for the assemblies to wake up again and put the highway in shape!