Opinion: And Navrongo shall be

There have been a few disappointments here and there. But home is home. When I arrived, I noticed most of the mud houses were in ruins. The rains this year had done their worst. Yet still, a few of the farmers were gladdened. The heavy rains have increased their yield. The only problem they have is where to store their grains and where to get a better price.

One cannot always have it all some of the farmers sobered. And as our leaders boast and gloat over this bumper harvest, I earnestly conclude that I am on the side of the farmer. The help we should offer them must go beyond the figures postulated by both the ruling and the opposition.

I walked along the road I realised, that liquor has done some irreparable damage to most of the youth.  Some of them looked pale and bloated. What else was there for one to say? There are many liquor shops than youth in Navrongo. I am told of a certain illustrious son of Navrongo who, a few decades ago, insisted that Navanea (people of Navrongo) were not to sell alcohol (Akpeteshie).

Many did not like what he said but Col. Minyila did what he did. Word has it that when he banned the sale of liquor a little over three decades ago in Navrongo, pito became the next substitute and the brewers made a lot of money. It saddens my heart we are not promoting the colonel’s legacy.

I strolled down the road to contemplate my own sanity.  Maybe I was thinking too much. Maybe I have lost touch with reality and things of our time. But one cannot resist mentioning. Opposite the Municipal Education office is the Municipal Library which is just a few yards to the main commercial road.

Having sat in the library once, I realised the edifice has twice the heat of an incinerator and could evaporate every minute thought that is ever articulated. As the sound of honking and beeping of vehicles feeds into the library, one would also discover the greatest of shock that the structure was simply too small that it can barely contain twice a dozen readers.

Night was fast approaching and I had to leave town. As I walked on towards the darkest part of the road I could see a faint light glimmering from afar.  Curiosity drove the fear out of my heart and I quickened my steps to the source of the light. I was in my village and I should not allow fear to overpower me.  I was gladdened to see a tall police officer at that part of the road. He, together with his personnel had accosted a lot of motorbikes and ‘Mahama Camboos’ (popular tricycles used for transport in Navrongo).

Available statistics indicate that the motor-bikes and Mahama camboo related accidents have killed more than alcohol and Aids. What an interesting spectacle it was. I was particularly touched by the tall youthful police officer. He looked neat in his uniform and took pains to explain the many offences of passengers, drivers, and the resulting consequences.

I was told this young police officer, Lance Corporal, Prince Abbey-Quaye, has brought some level of sanity to the Navrongo Municipality. I have always sanctioned that the best way to the police is to engage in educative dialogue and here was an officer doing just that.

In this yuletide, as Prince Abbey and his team continue their education, I pray for peace in Navrongo concluding also, that  Navrongo shall be!

Joseph Aketema
Institute of Africa studies