Kulungungu, the town where Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah escaped an assassination attempt in 1962 is in a serious development crisis.
Even the only statue that reminds residents about the bomb explosion is in deplorable state; a clear indication it has lost its significance.
The town is located a few kilometers from Bawku in the Upper East region, near the eastern part of the Burkina Faso-Togo border. It’s one of the main entry and exit points to and from Burkina Faso from Ghana.
Various commercial activities take place there; generating substantial revenue for the country.
For tourists to the Upper East Region, Kulungungu can serve only as transit point to other attractions.
Despite its historical significance, the town seems to have been abandoned; perhaps by the powers that be.
The town lacks basic amenities with the road leading to the town i1n deplorable state.
Residents are worried at the state of this historical town.
“I am very disappointed with the state of events here. Our roads are bad though it generates some revenues to the country”. A worried resident complained.
On that fateful day of August 1, 1962, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was returning from Burkina Faso, then Upper Volta, after peace talks with then President Maurice Yameogo.
Another account has it that the visit to Burkina Faso was to negotiate for the construction of the Volta Dam.
Dr. Nkrumah had made an unplanned stop-over at Kulungungu to acknowledge the chiefs and people, including school children.
For most of the people of Kulungungu, it was the first time to see the President and perhaps make appeals to him.
School children had hoped to see the man they had hear of or read about in history books.
What appeared a warm welcome suddenly became a bloody affair.
Like the many attractions in Ghana that have not seen any significant development, the Kulungungu bomb site only has a disfigured statue of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
It’s a surprise a monument in memory of Ghana’s founder is in bad shape. A close look at it shows it is defaced.
A resident says every august 1st was saved for the celebration of the bomb explosion but they had to abandon it because of how the town has been stopped.
“Previously, we marked the sad incident every year to remind people about what happened in 1962 but now, it is no more”.
Residents here say they are considered aliens and even conducting business within Bawku and Kulungungu is a nightmare.
“We are always being treated like foreigners. We cannot transact business even within Bawku. The security personnel will confiscate our goods once we say we are going to Kulungungu. This is sad for us. Can’t we also feel that, we are part of the country? One resident quizzed?
With the location of the Immigration Service in the town, one would expect residents will be better-off since some revenue is made here. Perhaps, that can happen only after a round table discussion.
Its accessibility is not different from the under-developed state of the Northern Regions. However, the hustle and bustle are part of the experience of life in Kulungungu.
My journey to the other side of the border to Burkina Faso revealed different picture. The road to the border town is being put into good shape.
There is a nagging worry when Ghana applies the talisman prescribed by Indian legendary statesman, Mahatma Gandhi.
His strikingly simple criterion was that every action proposed or contemplated should, in its implementation, wipe the tears of the poor and downtrodden.
He emphasized only when we have wiped the tears from the faces of all, have we truly arrived as a nation.
Until there is even development for all towns, one may have to conclude it will be difficult for Ghana to reach the status of a First World nation.