The presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga, entered Zuarungu with cheers on the first day of his campaign tour of the Upper East Region on Thursday but left with grief over the “shameful” state in which he said the Bolgatanga East District’s capital was.
He had moved through the busy roads of the regional capital in a campaign motorcade, waving from the roof of a car at cheering audiences. And he looked very pleased as some of the bystanders danced to the songs composed for his campaign trail and repeatedly spun their forefingers anticlockwise to signify a desire for a change of government at the upcoming general elections.
Ayariga even doled out some APC-branded campaign shirts to the public and had a COVID-19 fist handshake with those who went close to the slow-moving convoy. But all of that changed when he arrived at Zuarungu. When he met separately with traders at the Zuarungu Market and traditional authorities at the palace of the Paramount Chief of Zuarungu, he registered his impressions about what he observed around.
“I struggled and struggled to get here, because there are no good roads. In the 21st century, you cannot even boast of a good road to the chief’s palace. This is disgraceful. It’s a shame. In the 21st century, I passed through the market of Zuarungu and I was ashamed. We call this a market. Are we serious in this country? Can we boast that this is a market? Can we boast that we have done the basic things that society needs— which include road, water, hospital and the like? None is available here in this community. None. I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of the government in power and previous governments to leave this community deserted in the manner it is.
“Look at the children (pointing at some youngsters around). Can we say these children are the future of Ghana? Can we say these kids are prepared to take over the leadership of Ghana when we are no more? If you want to know whether Ghana has a future or not, turn around and look at these children. This is supposed to be your future. Their colleagues in other countries have iPad, laptop— making research on how to be very creative and innovative. Ours are selling water on the street. And we call ourselves the Gateway to Africa. That gate has been closed long ago. And if that is the gateway to Africa, I will close it and open another gate,” Ayariga stated and urged the crowd to vote for him as president next month.
Don’t release your land to foreigners— Ayariga tells chiefs
Ayariga stretched the tour much further, exchanging greetings wherever he stopped over and putting his campaign message across as he moved through Kongo and Nangodi (towns in the Nabdam District) to Zebilla in the Bawku West District.
He told traditional authorities at Zebilla that he needed just four years at the presidency to turn things around for good in Ghana if given the presidential nod at the December 7 polls. He also entreated them to not release land to foreigners any longer so that there could be sufficient space in reserve to accomplish some future projects that would be of massive benefits not to an individual but the entire populace.
“I promise to deliver what you want. I will not disappoint you. I will not disappoint the community. I will not disappoint the youth. I don’t need eight years. Four years is enough and I will change Ghana and people will learn that we have had a leader and we didn’t even know. Please, try as much as possible, don’t release any land to any foreigner again. We have to preserve our land and our property. They are only buying and taking over our land. We are releasing our sovereignty to them and they are not buying with any big amount but small amount.
“My appeal to the chiefs in Ghana is: please, keep your land; the value is coming with the one who will make that land valuable. I would come and I would want to transform your land but I would not have land because land has been sold out. I would come and would want to bring investment and you don’t have the land. No more land to the foreigners because gradually they would buy all our land; your children, when they grow, they would not have land; all the land is gone. You can lease the land in your name. But don’t sell out land,” Ayariga stressed, heading for the Bawku Municipality next.
His is scheduled to complete his tour of the region on Saturday. He has in his campaign company regional and constituency executives of the party.
By Edward Adeti, Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH