Only in this region will you find a ‘shifting’ airport site. What was supposed to be an airport started at Paga, Ghana’s border town near Burkina Faso, only as an airstrip. And it was in uninterrupted use until Burkina Faso complained without compromise about some cross-border interference in her airspace as air planes heading for the region normally would go through the Burkinabe air corridor first before they would touch down at Paga. To avoid a diplomatic row with the French-speaking neighbor, a new site was proposed and settled upon at Anateem, a community in the eastern axis of the regional capital, Bolgatanga. The Mahama Administration in 2013 promised that an airport would be constructed at that new site in 2014. President John Mahama did not say it faraway in the Parliament House. He said it at Anateem, directly to a joyous durbar crowd and in front of grey-haired aviation experts who convoyed him and other senior government officials to the ‘settled’ site. But in 2017, after John Mahama had lost an election to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and had handed over to a new government, the new Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, visited Bolga Sherigu, another community in the regional capital, and tasked officials of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, who escorted her to the region, to conduct fresh feasibility studies at a ‘new’ site at Bolga Sherigu as applauding traditional powers listened with glee and the accompanying press corps meticulously put pen to paper. The lack of an airport alone in the region since the dawn of airways in Ghana probably has killed more people indirectly than any disease outbreak known to the elders of the region. Perhaps, if the region had been given a deserved airport at the time the others got theirs long, long ago, the philanthropic Upper East Regional Chairman of the now-ruling New Patriotic Party, Adams Akalbila Mahama, would have survived the unsolicited 2015 midnight acid bath.
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