Chief to Ghanaians: Fixing Ghana is a collective responsibility

Nana Afari Mintah says governance is not for an individual or a few people to undertake, and that we must take joint responsibility for it

The chief of the Chiraa Traditional Area in the Sunyani West District of the Bono Region, Nana Afari Mintah, has told Ghanaians that Ghana can be “fixed” only if all citizens come together to play their respective role.

Nana Afari Mintah expressed these sentiments on Wednesday (11 August 2021) when President Akufo-Addo called on him at his palace during his two-day tour of Bono.

“Nana, not long ago, some young men, who call themselves #FixTheCountry advocates, demonstrated. Nana, I and my [queen] mother will help you in fixing the country.

“Governance is not for a single person or few people to undertake. It is a collective responsibility. It is for all of us to contribute our quota in developing the country. Let us all, in unity, support the president in discharging his vision to develop Ghana,” he said.

Citing examples of citizens’ behaviour which is detrimental to the development of the nation, the Chiraa chief asked: “If you want to fix Ghana and you are into galamsey, can you do it?

“Our water bodies have been destroyed through galamsey. How do we fix a country with this attitude?”

Be the change

Indeed, Nana Afari Mintah wondered if the country can be fixed, given Ghanaians’ casual approach to degrading forests and the natural environment, as well as the general refusal to pay taxes.

“Our forest reserves, left for us by our forefathers, forests which belong to the state, you enter them and fell … the trees, you degrade them. How do you fix it? Pay taxes, you say, ‘I will not pay,’ you dodge it. Can you fix it?”

Equally, he questioned how the country could be fixed or developed “when people go to work at 11am when they are to be there at 9am”.

But, as the chief reiterated, “If we all unite and listen to the president and do what we are supposed to, I know Ghana will develop.”

On roads, Nana Afari Mintah praised President Akufo-Addo for living up to expectations with his Year of Roads pledge.

“When [the president] talked about the Year of Roads, it wasn’t a fluke. Today we have seen it ourselves. A road network, which has been unattended to for years – regimes upon regimes have come and gone but it has never witnessed even an upgrading – today, we see it being constructed.”

Nana Afari Mintah also expressed his gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the infrastructural projects and other interventions made for Chiraa Senior High School.

“In all sincerity, what Nana has done for us … the Chiraa Senior High School, when the students were 2,155, where they would sleep was a challenge. At a point in time, we even considered renting a house for the students to stay in. The MP, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, told me to exercise patience.

“As we speak, thanks to you, Nana Addo, within a short time, we have three girls’ dormitories. We no longer have any challenges for the girls. The boys also have dormitories. There are also enough classroom blocks. Nana, the people of Chiraa are grateful to you.”

School appeal

Although Chiraa Secondary School was built in 1982, it was during the tenure of President John Agyekum Kufuor that the school acquired a bus. The bus, the chief continued, is no more. He, therefore, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to help the school with a replacement vehicle.

The chief also asked for the state to build an administration block for Chiraa Senior High School, as the SHS has been obliged to function without one for ages.

“We lack an administration block for a school that is almost 40 years [old]. A town with no palace is no town. An administration block with an ICT centre will help us,” he said, appealing to Akufo-Addo.

The chief of Chiraa further praised President Akufo-Addo for implementing pro-poor policies such as Free Senior High School, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme and the One District, One Factory initiative.

He used the opportunity to appeal to the president to establish an agro-based factory in the district, as farming is the local mainstay.

“Farming is the mainstay of the people of Chiraa, thanks to Planting for Food and Jobs. We would appreciate it very much if we get a factory here that would process our farm produce into finished and exportable goods,” he said.

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