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Trouble brewing in Mayor Superior’s backyard

Politicians are ambitious creatures; they yearn for glory, a place in the history books and enduring legacies. Invariably, much of what they do while in office is geared towards writing their names in stone when finally it is all said and done.

However, in pursuing their objectives, politicians infuriate a section of the population they govern while tremendously pleasing their base of support. This truncated description fits the current mayor of Tamale, Mr. Musah Superior, to the letter.

Last year, there was much fanfare and excitement when Mr. Musah Superior was picked by President Akuffo Addo to run the affairs of the great city of Tamale. Apparently, Mr. Superior had earned the trust of the President to be put in charge of, arguably, the fastest growing metropolis in the West African sub region.

Mr. Superior came into office determined to remake Tamale in his image, to give the city the much need facelift it critically needed. He was going to be like no other mayor, either before him or after him.

He vowed, despite sniping from some quarters, to push ahead and place Tamale on the map, to attract investments, businesses and visitors, no matter whose ox was gored. The mayor’s grandiose view of Tamale was one of an up and coming ultra-modern city, clean and ready for the outside world.

To this end, he began, with the backing of a rubber stamp assembly, to enact measures whose overall goal was to address the city’s perennial challenges, foremost among which was congestion on streets, and the behavior of the freewheeling operators of Yellow Yellow, the ubiquitous tricycles.

Not unexpected, the mayor’s decongestion plans ran into a fierce wall of resistance. Traders who had previously sold their merchandise anywhere on the streets they found convenient, cried foul and accused the mayor of depriving them of their only means of livelihood.

Yellow Yellow operators added their voices to the growing complain. Collectively, they and the traders told anyone who will listen that they had become sources of easy money for members of the mayor’s task force charged with enforcing decongestion regulations. Extortion has become the order of the day, they complained bitterly.

And, despite alerting the mayor to their plight, the traders added that nothing concrete has yet been done. So, it was against this background, that the traders and tricycle owners on Monday implored the President to remove mayor Superior, effective immediately.

They have had enough, they told the president in a petition they handed over to a representative of the northern regional minister. It is hard to argue against the case of the traders and tricyle operators. Their bitterness against the mayor is not unfounded.

The traders are, indeed, bearing the brunt of the mayor’s policies; they have paid a high price and their livelihoods are under constant threat from the mayor’s task force.They have families to feed. I sympathize deeply with their plight and fervently wish there was a way to alleviate their current hardships.

But, Tamale is a city of laws. If our ultimate goal is to transform our beautiful city into a thriving and prosperous urban metropolis that will attract investors who will in turn create jobs for our young men and women, we must obey every law that is on the books, even the most mundane.

All in all, the mayor meant well; he enacted those supposedly harsh decongestion laws with a noble intention, that of enhancing the quality of life in the city and allowing the free movement of people and vehicles on our streets. His is bold and fearless leadership, the type our city desperately needs.





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