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Mayor Musah Superior is Doing The Right Thing Tackling Social Vices in Tamale


Politicians are generally defined by what they do in office. Long after they are gone, long after they are out of the spot light and long after they are confined to the pages of history, they will be judged fairly or unfairly by the evidence of their accomplishments.

Politicians who leave positive footprints while in office, will be fondly remembered. But those politicians who enjoyed the pegs of their office while abusing their power and riding roughshod over their constituents, will be portrayed harshly and viciously condemned.

So, with this prospect weighing heavily on his mind, the mayor of Tamale, Mr. Abukari Musah Superior, has since the inception of his administration, sought to do the right thing by the residents of Tamale, one of the most vibrant, pulsating cities in modern West Africa. Mr. Superior is fast earning praise for his no-nonsense, in your face, take it or leave it approach to solving some of the city’s nagging problems.

Of course, there are sections of the city’s population that simply hate the mayor’s guts for taking decisions that have cost them their livelihoods. These people would love nothing better than to derail the mayor’s efforts at revamping our city.

He has, with the help of the Tamale Municipal Assembly, crafted policies that are designed largely to keep the city of Tamale modern, competitive and attractive. One of his first major accomplishments, in my view, was the decongestion of Tamale’s once notoriously crowded streets.

Those affected by the mayor’s policies to clean up Tamale —- hawkers and petty traders —— were mightily angry and did not take kindly to the mayor’s efforts. But the general public appreciated his strong stance.

Mr. Superior has recently set his sights on other problems that past city leaders grappled with but could not bring under control. Those problems — the use of the popular Tamale forest reserve as a gathering place for all sorts of vices, including underage smoking of Indian hemp and prostitution, — continue to plague our city.

I find it absolutely refreshing and a huge relief that, at long last, a city leader has the audacity and guts to take on these problems headon. Mr. Superior has not minced words about his determination to rid the city of these twin problems. He has been very explicit in his condemnation of prostitution, describing it as a stain on Tamale’s hard earned reputation as a bastion of social and religious conservatism.

Under his administration, Mr. Superior said, life will be “excruciatingly painful” for prostitutes and young men who use the forest reserve to enjoy puffs of Indian hemp.

But there are those who would immediately chastise the mayor for infringing on the rights of the targets of his draconian policies; prostitutes and the wee smoking young men. After all, they argue, ours is a liberal democracy and everyone is free to do what he/she deems fit so long as they don’t step on the toes of others, in other words, if they don’t run foul of the law.

They will also argue further that Tamale is a modern metropolis, a fast growing one at that, so prostitution will invariably be part of the city’s landscape. And, they will point to Accra, Kumasi, Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, New York City, London, Paris and other mega cities to buttress their point.

The mayor is surely wielding a big stick, and surely some segments of Tamale society will be up in arms as a result of his clamp down on social vices. But he is the leader, at least in political terms, and the onus is on him to take the city to greater heights.

The mayor is not my ideological soul mate; his political orientation is vastly different from mine. We come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. But that would not preclude me from heaping praise on him if I think he is on the right path, doing his best to project a positive image of our beautiful city of Tamale to the world.




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