Popular playwright, Uncle Ebow, has launched a thinly veiled attack on the Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, urging him to fix problems facing Accra instead of collecting undeserved awards.
Uncle Ebow was speaking on Accra-based Joy FM after a devastating fire at a Goil filling station at Circle in Accra killed about 100 people.
It is not clear what started the fire that completely destroyed the filling station next to the GCB Bank Circle Tower branch, and burnt several houses and shops, but eyewitnesses suspect fuel-laden floods could have imported the fire which trapped many who had sought refuge from torrential rains that cut off several communities from major roads.
The floods have also destroyed property across the country and in the capital in particular, leading to the death of dozens of people.
Uncle Ebow criticised the tendency of politicians to promise change after major disasters – promises which he said go unfulfilled.
He said a similar situation was expected following Wednesday’ catastrophe.
‘The big men will go round inspecting today but in a few days, they will forget about the floods and damage. The fire that burnt the people at the filling station did not distinguish between NPP and NDC. This is a land where we don’t have hurricanes, tsunamis. This is just rain and we have been swept off our feet,’ he said.
One of the houses damaged by the Goil filling station fire.
The celebrated playwright said when a similar flood occurred two years ago, he predicted that no action would be taken to prevent another, but the Accra Mayor vehemently disagreed with him.
‘People should stop going around collecting awards they haven’t earned and fix the problem,’ Uncle Ebow added, in apparent reference to the ‘Best Mayor in Africa’ award which was handed Mr Vanderpuye recently.
Meanwhile, President John Dramani Mahama, who visited the scene of the devastation at Circle, described the incident as ‘catastrophic’, saying he was lost for words.
‘A lot of people have lost their lives. I am at a loss for words to express how I feel, many of them through the floods and then many of them through the fire incident that took place here as the result of the explosion that took place in the filling station located right here’, he said.
‘We have to take some measures to be able to avoid this in the future, and often when these moves are started, you have a lot of sympathy and pressure not to take those measures, but I think that the time has come for us to move out of the waterways and the public should understand that… I mean this loss of lives is catastrophic,’ he added.
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