Resident of Tishegu should be roundly applauded for their gallant fight to keep their neighborhood from the clutches of a Ghanaian transportation giant, VIP.
With the tacit approval and wholehearted support of the shameless and inept Tamale Municipal Authority, VIP has arrogantly assigned itself the power to build a transportation hub/a bus terminal in one of Tamale’s densely populated residential areas.
The project, according to various news reports, has already taken off, in fact it has started in earnest, all to the shock and befuddlement of residents who in reaction to the naked encroachment on their properties and privacy justifiably sought legal redress.
In court papers, residents were seeking to determine if VIP had obtained the necessary permit to erect such a monstrosity in their midst. Apparently not. It turned out VIP hadn’t even bothered to go through the proper procedure to obtain official permission.
It just threw its financial weight and influence around. And our hapless local politicians succumbed to its charm.
The Tamale High Court mercifully put a screeching halt to the illegal construction with an injunction. Victory temporarily belongs to the residents. The little man has won against a corporate behemoth.
Examined closely, the entire project reeks of corporate greed and abject and obscene official corruption. It is abundantly clear to anyone who cares that the Tamale Municipal Authority which is supposed to represent and protect the interests of residents of the city was clearly in bed, in cahoots with VIP.
One municipal official even had the audacity to talk about rezoning which was a clear indication of the corruption that transpired.
The action or inaction of the Authority is appalling; It turned a blind eye, emboldened and actively encouraged VIP’s naked grab for land. In short, it failed profoundly to do due diligence.
Under normal circumstances and with due consideration of several factors such as noise and air pollution, congestion, access and safety, nobody in his or her right frame of mind would sanction the construction of a bus terminal in a residential area, a densely one too. It is never done.
Shockingly, our highly uninformed local legislators caved in to the demands of VIP. You can take it to the bank, our local politicians are a different breed. The supreme interests of those they represent mean zilch, nothing, zero to them.
They will rather sing the tune of anyone who greases their palms and fills up their bank accounts.
Tishegu residents have demonstrated what peoples power means. They did not misbehave, curse out the politicians or rain insults on them, neither did they destroy the properties of VIP in a fit of rage. Unlike VIP, they did not take the law into their hands.
Instead, the residents of Tishegu resorted to civility by filing a complaint in court. That is what we call taking the highway, that is being respectful of our laws and regulations and giving your opponent the chance to explain themselves.
At the end of the day, the ball is in the court of the Tamale Municipal Authority and VIP. Both entities have an accounting to do.
The Tamale High Court should publicly shame them into cancelling the project which to all intents and purposes is a corporate power land grab.