Are we building a nation or political parties – Chief quizzes

The Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Oboaman Bofotia Boamponsem has chastised politicians for their quest to build their political parties instead of building the nation.

 “Those political parties coming into power are building their parties instead of the nation. They want the political parties to sustain instead of sustaining the country”, he stated.

Oboaman Amponsem was speaking at the Bono Region’s edition of the Graphic/Zoomlion Sanitation Dialogue in Sunyani on Friday.

He said a situation whereby a deputy youth organiser of a political party could give an instruction to a regional police commander and cause his transfer if he refused to act on his transfer was not good enough for the development of the country’s institutions.

“What country are we building? Are we building political parties or we are building a nation?”, Oboaman Amponsem quizzed and stated that “We need to build a nation which can stand the test of time”.

More than 150 stakeholders drawn from both governmental and non-governmental institutions took part in the dialogue in which they passionately discussed sanitation issues and called for the strengthening of environmental health officials to make them more functional.

Role of chiefs
Oboaman Boamponsem who chaired the dialogue, said in the past chiefs were able to manage their communities and ensured that their citizens adhered strictly to regulations, explaining that since traditional authourity was still in their hands, they should institute measures to ensure that their communities were clean to avoid outbreak of diseases.

“Chiefs should have the traditional will to lead the country in its quest for environmental cleanliness because nobody votes for us”, he stated and called on environmental health officers to liaise with chiefs since they could assist them to achieve their objectives.

“If the politicians are not having the political will the traditional rulers have the traditional will to do whatever they need to do to help the progress of the country”, he stated.

Oboaman Boamponsem explained that political office bearers would come and go while traditional leaders would continue to remain on their seats without being subjected to periodic elections to decide their fate and therefore asked public officials to have faith in the traditional leaders to bring to the fore problems in their establishments.

He added that no traditional leader worth his salt would want to witness the outbreak of diseases in their area since that would deny them the services rendered to them by their people, who might be unhealthy.

“I want to assure the people of Ghana and governmental agencies that chiefs in the country are there to support them and they should always consult them for such support”.

Proper disposal of waste
For his part, the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah said one of the major causes of poor sanitation was improper disposal of waste.

“People dispose of materials indiscriminately, which after downpours, result in choked gutters and water courses and eventually flooding”, he stated.

Mr Asmah, whose address was read on his behalf by the News Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Samuel Doe Ablodepey acknowledged how Sunyani was noted as the cleanest city in Ghana in the year 2007, explaining that rapid urbanization and population growth had brought along development challenges, including poor sanitation.

He bemoaned inadequate toilet facilities for both domestic and public use, the lack of drainage systems and indiscriminate dumping of refuse among others which, according to him, had eroded some of the progress made in the past.

He gave assurance that the GCGL would continue to lead the campaign to get the country clean, adding that “we do so with the commitment to complement efforts by the various assemblies to get their localities clean”.

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