Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu, has admonished the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta and the Akufo-Addo government to desist from engaging in politics of deceit and propaganda with state projects.
Kwame Governs Agbodza, is asking the government to tell Ghanaians the truth that the Pokuase Interchange construction is an initiative of the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
According to him, the Pokuase Interchange is a brainchild of the NDC, as a result of former President John Mahama's vision and therefore, the attempts by the Akufo-Addo government to hijack the project pretending it is their initiative, just like they did in the case of the Tema Motorway Interchange, adding this is disingenuous.
Mr Agbodza, who is also the Ranking Member on Parliament's Roads and Transport Committee, explained that the NDC administration in 2016, secured the loan to deal with traffic situations around Pokuase area.
Briefing the media, including The Herald in parliament on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, the Adaklu lawmaker said, it's indisputable fact that even long before the NDC left office, procurement processes as well as tender processes to select a contractor have all started and therefore, the NPP only inherited the project and cannot claim ownership for it.
He said, "The NDC when we were in government took certain critical decisions of building interchanges around Accra to deal with ever-increasing traffic bottlenecks we have in the country. Circle Interchange, Obetsebi, Pokuase was all part of the overall master plan to improve vehicular access in the city."
The Adaklu MP mentioned that, "in the particular case of Pokuase, I am very sure, majority of you were here in 2016 when parliament took the decision and approved that particular loan so that we can deal with the problems around Pokuase".
According to him, "the current Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Alhaji Abass Awolu, knows the truth and the truth is that the Pokuase Interchange is the vision and the work of President Mahama and the NDC.
" We secured the loan, the procurement process started because it was funded by Afdb, so they have to go through a tender and select a contractor".
The NDC MP's comments, follow a claim by the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta that the Pokuase Interchange was started from scratch, by the President Akufo-Addo's government.
Kwasi Amoako-Atta, at a press briefing on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Accra, told journalists that, "This is the project that was started from scratch by President Akufo-Addo's government. This interchange will be opened in full to traffic in the first week of July".
According to him, the Akufo-Addo government, will complete 20 of the 25 interchanges earmarked for construction before the end of his second term.
"Mark me down; by 2024, 20 interchanges will likely be completed", Mr Amoako-Atta bragged, adding, "This has never happened in any administration since independence".
"By the end of our second term, 20 interchanges in our country would have been built, we have estimated 25, but we are convinced and sure and we know what we are about", he said, explaining that the government has "programmed whatever we are doing and we would have had about 25 interchanges in our country", Mr Amoako-Atta said.
But Mr Agbodza insists, the Roads and Highways Minister has lied, because the NPP is not the initiators of the project.
According to him, the Minister and his government should have the candor to give credit to the Mahama-led NDC administration over the project.
He stated that, the Minister's attempt to claim ownership for the project, shows he is also on the path to compete with the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on how politicians tell lies and cannot be trusted.
Mr Agbodza said, "So today, if the Roads Minister pretends and says that the NPP started Pokuase from scratch, that is just an attempt to compete with Dr. Bawumia on how politicians cannot be trusted." Somebody will say that is a bit harsh on Bawumia but that is not so".
He advised the Minister not to compete with Bawumia on lies, because he [Mr Amoako-Atta] is a gentleman and for that matter, should not join the bandwagons.
He said the Roads and Highways Minister is competing with Bawunia in telling untruth, just because they are about to commission the project and so, the Minister is testing the waters to see whether Ghanaians have gone to sleep, so that President Akufo-Addo, will take the credit for no work done.
"We want politicians to be truthful for what they have done. They will never take credit for Pokuase. Pokuase Interchange is an NDC vision, completed for the people of our country. I am saying that nobody can take this from the NDC," he stressed.
He mentioned that the Circle Interchange, Obetsebe Lamptey flyover, Pokuase Interchange, were all part of the overall master plan by the NDC administration to improve vehicular access in the city.
"So we are asking President Akufo-Addo once again, you are in your 5th year as President, show us one interchange that you ever built? They've built none. President Akufo-Addo, you have never built one interchange in our country. The only flyover at Tamale is still driving at a snail pace," Mr Agbodza stated.