Zuarungu (U/E)� The Upper East Regional Communications Secretariat of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on the Special Prosecutor (SP), to immediately investigate the cost of construction of an Astro-Turf pitch in Bolgatanga.
They are also asking the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to join in the investigation of the cost of construction of the Astro Turf, which was under the Zongo Community Improvement Programme.
The party said the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) government initiated the construction of the multipurpose integrative projects in some Zongo communities across the country which were expected to have an Astro -Turf, panel mesh fencing, floodlights, spectator stands, wash rooms and changing rooms valued at $250,000 (GH 1,250,000).
Briefing the media at Zuarungu, the Bolgatanga East District capital, Mr Sunday Casper Kampoli, the Deputy Regional Communications Officer of the party recalled that the NPP government cut the sod for the construction of these multipurpose integrative Astro-turf projects in two constituencies of the region, namely Bolgatanga Central (Mobile Park) and Navrongo Central in March this year.
He said Per our checks, the Bolgatanga project has been completed but we can confirm that the taxpayer has been short change because there is no value for the whooping $250,000 (GH1,250,000) used for the project.
Mr Kampoli added that we are therefore calling on the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Martin Amidu, the BNI and EOCO to initiate investigations into the construction of this multipurpose pitch in Bolgatanga and prosecute government actors who would be found culprits.
The Deputy Communications Officer indicated that an Astro-turf was an artificial pitch made from synthetic grass like fibre, and insisted that the pitch that we have at ‘mobile park’ is not an Astro-Turf, this is because it is constructed with normal grass that is supposed to grow but cannot grow well because of the type of soil they used.
According to him, the grass on the pitch had grown into plants, and the pitch had no spectator stands, wash and changing rooms per the contract.
Mr Kampoli said Astro-Turfs were not the priorities of the citizenry and recounted that At the 5th Annual Conference of the National Association of Zongo Chiefs (NAZAC) held in Koforidua, the chiefs made it clear to the government that Astro-Turfs were not their priority, so they would rather wish the government addressed the infrastructural and poor sanitation challenges in the Zongos.
Mr Kampoli who gave the SP a two-week ultimatum to commence investigations into the allegations and called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to make sure that the people of Upper East Region also get their share of the national cake.
Reacting to the allegations in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Lawyer Anthony Namoo, Regional Chairman of the NPP, rubbished the allegation and said it was unfounded, untrue, and baseless.
According to the Regional Chairman, the total cost of the construction of the pitch, which was enthusiastically welcomed by the people of the Zongo communities in Bolgatanga, was less than GHc 500,000 contrary to the wild speculations by the NDC communications team who have just been inaugurated into office and are looking for work to do.
He said the pitch was within specifications, because the contract did not indicate that the Bolgatanga pitch was to be designed into an Astro-Turf as being speculated by these rumour mongers.
Mr Namoo indicated that the construction of the Bolgatanga Zongo pitch captured all the facilities that were to be provided including greening it with grass and not Astro-Turf as being held by the NDC and conceded that following the setting in of the hamarttan season, the grasses were drying up, and added that he would reach out to the appropriate body to get the pitch watered and to ensure that the necessary maintenance works were done before the pitch is officially handed over to the community.
Lawyer Namoo challenged the NDC to prove their allegations, and called on the people of Bolgatanga and the Zongo communities not to take the NDC communications team serious as they are only making these baseless claims because they want to be seen working.
He said government had the people of the Upper East Region at heart, especially the Zongo communities and indicated that once the Zongo improvement projects were on course, I don’t rule out the Ministry bringing into the region another pitch and siting it in any of the districts in the region which could be an Astro-Turf.
Lawyer Namoo, who maintained that the NPP government had no business deceiving the citizenry and would always keep it’s promises with the people, said In fact, I would have wished the region got a stadium and not a pitch.
Source: Ghana News Agency