Buipe Okada – A Letter to Nii Kpakpoa


Dear Nii Kpakpo,

Your people are at it again. They have closed the major bridge that leads into the whole northern region at Buipe and well they said it is closed for repairs.

So when will these random repair works be done once and for all so we can travel at will and not at the whims of some capricious politicians sitting in an air-conditioned office in Accra and doesn’t use the road to Tamale but will fly?

Nii Kpakpo whilst some of us are full of complaints its harvest time for some people too. The young boys and youth who own motorcycles in the Buipe area and township have taken this opportunity to make a few bucks for themselves. The closing of the bridge means that traffic mounts on both sides but there is a sheer distance that needs to be covered across the bridge and only motorbikes can have access to the bridge during repair works.

Let me break it down.  So lets say you take a bus in Tamale after work it is most likely you wont make the bridge crossing before it is closed for repairs at 6 pm so to facilitate travelers not feeling stranded, lorry stations have been set up on both sides of the bridge by transport owners.  These cars will transfer the passengers from the one side of the bridge that is closed to those empty waiting on the other side to their final destination be it Accra or Kumasi.

But to move from one end of the bridge to board these empty buses is quite a considerable distance and this is where the boys come in. They transport the passengers to the waiting cars for a flat rate of Gh5 and just imagine the number of passengers that ply the route.

The Buipe motorcycles are an ingenious way of making money off passengers to be able to make it to the buses for onward transport.
Not only the motorcycle but also food vendors have opened a mini market where they cater for all the passengers needs when it comes to provisions, food and water.

Kpakpo, being a northern community that’s not new to to open defecation it can be safely assumed that the putrid smell of human excreta is very prevalent in the area and during the day visible traces are seen all over.

The interesting thing is that at night you won’t see the extent to which the open defecation is widespread, only with your nose and you know how kuffourlike our nose is.

Anyεmi as at writing this letter the bridge has supposedly been fixed and as such traffic is back to to and fro but then it has been brisk business during the closure for the people living in Buipe and its environs.

What lesson this has taught me Nii Kpakpo Thompson is that the youth do not have to wait for government to create enabling environment for them before they say they have jobs but they should hone their senses to recognize opportunity and seize it when it matters most.

Let’s be the change we want to see in our society.

Till I write to you again I still remain

Your Cousin in Law

Savannah Boy



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