The chiefs and people of the Upper East Region, during a durbar, reminded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of his promise to construct an airport in the region.
According to the chiefs, Tindaamas, and people of the region, President Akufo-Addo, in the run-up to the 2016 elections, visited the Sumbrungu chief’s palace and made an earnest promise that he would construct an airport in the Upper East Region if he were voted into power.
On behalf of the people of the region, the paramount chief of the Sekote traditional area, Naba Sigri Bewong, said the president reiterated this promise in the Bongo district when he cut sod for the commencement of the One-Village-One-Dam project.
“Having been elected as president and almost ending his second term, we would like to also make a passionate appeal to him to, as a matter of urgency, honour his promise by pooling resources to continue and complete this partly developed site into a functioning airport,” he stated.
In the spirit of development and patriotic nationalism, Naba Bewong mentioned that the people of the Upper East region willingly released 7051.44 acres or 2,8853.72 hectares of land at the Sumbrungu community to the government for the development of an airport in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
But being the only region of the original ten regions without a functional airport or any concrete plans for development, the chief said successive governments have lacked the political and financial will to construct the airport.
“This development is something the community finds very unfortunate given the level of destruction to economic trees and arable land that have taken place at the site, as well as the series of promises made by various governments to the good people of Sumbrungu in particular and the Upper East Region in general.”
People of the region indicated that the construction of an airport in the Upper East region is necessary to catalyze investment and propel the development of the country, considering the discovery of gold, oil, industrial clay, and other minerals in commercial quantities in the region.
The durbar held at the proposed site for the airport featured cultural performances and traditional dances aimed at conveying the region’s eagerness for the realization of the promised airport project. Chairman of the Upper East Airport Development Committee, Gabriel Agambila, underscored the challenges faced by travellers due to the lack of an airport in the region.
Chairman of the Upper East Airport Development Committee, Gabriel Agambila underscored the challenges faced by travellers due to the lack of an airport in the region.
“Every time our people need to catch a flight, they have to embark on long and stressful road journeys to Tamale. This not only adds to the inconvenience but also places our citizens at risk of armed robbery attacks, particularly during late-night travel to catch early morning flights.”
Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East regional minister, commended the chiefs, Tindaamas, and people of the region for the concerted effort to advocate for the construction of an airport in the region.
He said he is engaging with the government and investors to see to it that an airport is constructed in the region.
He, therefore, charged the 15 MPs of the region to back the people of the region in realizing the airport dream.