Odomase residents demonstrate over abandoned projects
Hundreds of residents of Odomase, the capital of Sunyani West, last Tuesday staged a peaceful demonstration on the principal streets of the town to register their displeasure over the halt in development projects and programmes in the municipality.
The demonstration, which was organised by the Odomase for Development (OD) and Odomaseman in Diaspora Association (ODA), brought together hundreds of residents, mainly the youth.
The protesters staged the demonstration to draw the attention of the government and municipal authorities to abandoned projects such as roads and the Agenda 111 hospital project, the government’s flagship programme.
Other issues included the keeping of livestock (cattle) at the Tain Two forest (ADOE) and the lack of a tertiary institution, specifically a College of Education at Odomase, the Sunyani West Municipality capital.
During the protest march, the demonstrators held placards with inscriptions such as “We have been neglected”, “Agenda 111 Yaamutu”, “Arise Odomase”, “Odomase ayε mo dεn?”, “Red card 2024’’, “We are living with cattle,” among others.
The demonstrators later marched to the Bono Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to present a petition to the Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene.
In the petition signed by the President of OD and ODA, Mark Kofi Amoah, the protesters demanded the construction of the Odomase-Sunyani main road, Odomase town roads, Adantia-Bofourkrom road, Odomase-Tainso road, the Odomase-Don Bosco road among others.
It said the Sunyani-SSNIT traffic-Odomase road had been awarded to a contractor for it to be upgraded into an asphalted dual-carriage road with drains and lighting systems, for which an announcement was placed for traders and other occupants along the road to vacate for construction to begin.
“As law abiding citizens, the affected people vacated the areas but unfortunately, the contactor has abandoned the site,” the petition said.
It said there were rumours around town that the original plan to construct the dual-carriage road had been changed to a single lane and ,therefore, appealed to the leadership of the region to clarify the matter.
On Agenda 111, the petition said the chiefs and people of Odomase enthusiastically supported the contractor and his staff in various ways to ensure that work on site would progress steadily.
However, it said work on the project had been halted for some time, alleging that almost all the casual staff had not been paid their weekly wages for more than two months which had affected their livelihood and the progress of work.
The petition said unguided animals in the area had also been destroying farm produce and other properties of the residents.
It explained that residents had made several complaints about the issue, but nothing had been done, adding that farmers had vowed to shoot and kill any animal that would destroy their crops.
The petition also appealed to the government to establish a tertiary institution, particularly a college of education within the Odomase enclave.
It urged the government to address the issues to avoid the declaration of “No development, no vote in December 2024 by people in the area”.
The Regional Minister, Ms Owusu-Banahene, who received the petition, gave an assurance that she would forward it to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for appropriate action.
However, she said she would also convene a meeting with the Department of Agriculture, the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Roads and Highways to take action on some of the issues, while the President addressed issues beyond them.