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Sumbrungu is final location for Upper East Regional Airport – Stephen Yakubu

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One of the biggest drawbacks for the Upper East Regional Airport has been its location. Over the past few years, many have shared opinions on where the yet-to-be-constructed airport should be located.

When the idea was first mooted for the construction of an airport, Sherigu, was first mentioned. Then, conversations around having the airport at Paga began. Eventually, reports emerged that the facility was to be located at Sumbrungu.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, in an exclusive interview with A1 Radio, has given a firm indication that stakeholders have finally settled on having the airport situated at Sumbrungu.

A decision, he said is final.

“As a proactive minister, I have already brought 2 contractors there already; private contractors. They have taken stock [of the site] and have gone back. I have organised meetings. We have met with the Transport Ministry, CEO of the Ghana Airport Company. We are working on it. People should just keep praying that this party stays in power for long and all their problems would be solved.”

“A committee was set up to come out with a report. The report has been completed and they have settled on Sumbrungu. That is the final location because that is the recommendation of the committee,” he said.

In a recent interview, the chief of Kotintaabig, a community under the Sakote Traditional Council in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, Naba Bilheesong Lagwongt has raised some critical questions about the current state of the proposed airport for the Upper East Region.

It would be recalled that while the construction of an airport in the Upper East Region was welcomed by all citizens in the region, one of the major problems with regards to the said developmental project is the citing of same.

There have been confirmed and unconfirmed reports of the airport, yet to be constructed, being cited in a great many places when the time is due.

For many, like the Chief of Kotintaabig, the delay in the construction of the airport could be because of the indecision, on the part of leaders of the region, on where to locate the facility.

Naba Lagwongt raised these concerns when he spoke recently to A1 Radio’s Gerard Asagi. He tied in the indecision on the citing of the airport to the lack of development due to ethnic fragmentation.

“When you go to the Ashanti region and you say something against the Ashanti Kingdom, and the Asantehene says something, you cannot do anything about it. But here [in the Upper East Region], I only pay homage to the one who enskinned me. It is only the Sakote Naba who can bring me to order. Nangodi Paramount chief cannot bring me to order. Bawku Naba cannot bring me to order. Sandema Naba cannot bring me to order.”

” … if we have a central point, where administration of the chieftaincy is being acted on, there will be sanity in the system. So, if the chieftaincy speaks for development in the region, it will have weight. Let me just give you an example of the airport.”

“Do you know why [the construction of the airport has been delayed]? We are hearing reports that they are going to build an airport in the Upper East Region, in Sirigu. Then it came to a time it was moving to Sumbrungu. Then it came to a time, it was now going to Paga. We will now spend all the time fighting amongst ourselves. That is why we are underdeveloped,” he said.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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