By: Kingsley Attitsogbui| Ho
The Concerned Citizens of Ho, on Thursday, November 9, 2023, embarked on a peaceful demonstration through the principal streets of Ho to express their dissatisfaction with the deplorable state of roads, bridges, and culverts in the Ho municipality.
Numerous bridges and culverts in the municipality have deteriorated, posing challenges to accessing various areas of the Regional Capital-Ho.
The protesters lamented the poor condition, particularly of the Ho Alale/Amegashie bridge, which commenced construction in 2021 but remains incomplete, making travel to the main Central Business District (CBD) of Ho difficult.
The Amegashie/Alale bridge connects Ho residents to the main lorry station and the Ho Central Market, among other key locations.
The Concerned Citizens highlighted several other areas of concern, including the Ho Dornorkordzi bridge, the Ho Barracks bridge, the broken culvert in the Ho children’s park, the broken culvert in Ho Adzimakope, and other damaged culverts, access roads, and bypass roads in the municipality.
Protesters, dressed in red and black attire and holding placards with inscriptions such as “Who completed the Amegashie bridge, RM or MCE?” and “How long until the Amegashie bridge is fixed? Lives are at stake!” marched from the Alale/Amegashie bridge through Ola SHS traffic light, Ho Civic Center traffic light, National Investment Bank, Central Police Station/GCB Bank, Shell filling station, and finally to the Ho Municipal Assembly. There, they presented a petition to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ho, Hon. Richard Divine Bosson.
The Convenor of the group, Vincent Hodoli, stated that the decision to protest arose from the authorities’ failure to address their previous requests to repair the impassable portion of the Ola SHS-Ho Central Market road in the Central Business District of Ho.
Hodoli noted that three weeks ago, they had alerted the relevant authorities to the dire state of the roads, especially the Amegashie/Alale bridge, without receiving any acknowledgment or statement on the matter. He described this lack of response as “total disrespect and a lack of sensitivity towards the sufferings of the residents.”
Upon receiving the petition, the Municipal Chief Executive thanked the demonstrators for exercising their civic right and assured them that the Ho Municipal Assembly would complete the Alale/Amegashie bridge and initiate work on other roads in the municipality.
However, the MCE claimed that the demonstrators had politicized the peaceful protest, asserting that many of them were known members of the NDC.
Subsequently, the demonstrators continued their march through Tarso Hotel junction, E.P. University College, the Regional Electoral Commission Office, the Ho Municipal Hospital, and finally to the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC). There, another petition was given to the Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, received on his behalf by the Coordinating Director, Mr. Augustus Awity.
In a letter dated November 1, 2023, addressed to the Volta Regional Police Commander, the group formally notified the police about their intended peaceful demonstration, in accordance with the Public Order Act (1994) Act 491 against three City Authorities; Hon. Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa-Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Richard Divine Bosson-Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ho and Mr. Gershon Bannerman, the Ho Municipal Urban Roads Engineer.
The Ho Municipal Police command provided security for the protestors during the demonstration.