Story: Simon Ahensan
Some concerned residents in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis have embarked on a demonstration to express their displeasure about the poor situation in the area.
Dubbed: “Sekondi-Takoradi Deserves Better”, the protesters hit the principal streets of Sekondi-Takoradi clad in red and black, and singing and chanting to demand for good roads infrastructure and street lighting, policies focused on revival of the local economy, completion of abandoned projects and creation of sustainable jobs for the youth among others in the Metropolis.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “The twin city needs change”, Fix our street lights, “Stop the corruption and excessive borrowing”, “We are tired”, “Enough is enough” and “Stop the galamsey in the Region”.
Some read: “Gyandu Park is now a death trap”, “Fix our roads”, “Revive dead companies or create new ones”, Sekondi-Takoradi is dead”, “Improve Essipong Sports Stadium now” among others.
According to the protester, the demonstration was a call to duty bearers in the Western Region to urgently address several longstanding issues that continued to hinder the development and wellbeing of Sekondi-Takoradi residents.
They said despite the significant contribution of the Metropolis and by extension the region to the country’s GDP through its vast natural resources, residents were grappling with economic hardship and limited job opportunities.
They said: “The current economic challenges drive our youth to seek opportunities outside the region, leading to ‘brain drain’ that deprives our community of its most valuable resource.
We want authorities to reverse this trend through the implementation of comprehensive economic policies, investment in skill development programmes and strategic initiatives to unlock the full potential of our local industries”.
The protesters are, therefore, asking the government, traditional leaders and other relevant authorities in the region to collaborate and formulate appropriate interventions to address various development issues in the area.
Mr Macall Mensah, one of the conveners of the demonstration, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency said as concerned citizens in Sekondi-Takoradi and its environs they were driven by their commitments to secure a better future for the Metropolis and the Western region in general, hence the idea behind the protest.
On whether they had any political backing, he said: “Our collective mission is rooted in pursuing the common good of our people, and we emphasize that our movement transcends political interest.”
He said the Western region had been neglected in terms of equitable distribution of national development, and that it was time residents took matters in their own hands and demanded better living standards from authorities.
“The deplorable nature of the roads in the Metropolis not only disrupt daily lives of residents but also hampers the economic activities, and the adverse impact on businesses and transportation have stifled growth and prosperity in Sekondi-Takoradi”, Mr Mensah indicated.
He said the Metropolis deserved better, and that authorities must do everything in their capacities to restore the lost glory in the area.
Meanwhile, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, whom the protesters wanted to present a petition to, refused to show up and speak to them.
The protesters have, therefore, announced plans to stage another demonstration in December to continue to drum home their concerns until their demands are met.