Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed that government’s idea of setting up a Zongo Development Fund to develop and support Zongo communities was inspired by former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s Vice, the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
Speaking at the 5th anniversary celebration of the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Dr. Bawumia said it was the former Vice President who suggested that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) establishes a fund that could help those in Zongo communities in order to eradicate the perception that the NPP hated Zongos dwellers.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the idea of setting up the fund was taken well by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo and, therefore, was one of the campaign promises of the NPP prior to the December 2016 general elections hence the setting up of the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development to be responsible for the welfare of people living in the Zongos and inner cities.
The Zongo Development Fund Bill was on Friday, November 10 passed by Parliament. The fund would be used to improve lives of residents in Zongo communities as they have over the years been bedevilled with infrastructure deficits, lack of social services and poor sanitation.
At a special prayer for the late Aliu Mahama held at his residence on Thursday, November 16, Dr. Bawumia eulogized and described him as a selfless and kind person who was always with smiles on his face and a pioneer who played a pivotal role in the NPP’s success of gaining power.
“We see him as a pioneer as far as our politics is concerned. As Vice President to President Kufuor, he brought something unique to the table. He straddled the Zongo community and northern community”.
“The story of the Zongo Development fund was started with Alhaji Aliu Mahama. We were talking and he said we have to do things to let the Zongo appreciate that the NPP is not anti-Zongo as the propaganda was at the time”.
“We said what can we do, and we started talking about specific interventions because successive governments had not paid attention to the Zongos. So that is why when we brought that suggestion to Nana Akufo-Addo he immediately said that is a good idea, let us put it in the manifesto and today by the grace of God, we are establishing the Zongo Development Fund”, the Vice President said.