Common sense has escaped our leadership – Pratt

Editor-in-chief of the Insight Newspaper says the cause of the many problems in the country is the failure of leaders to deliver on their mandate.

Kwesi Pratt said Wednesday’s flood and fire disaster was avoidable and would not have happened if officials implemented policies which would have prevented it.

Speaking on Radio Gold’s news analysis programme ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’, the veteran journalist said what happened was “a monumental failure of policy and leadership.

“The attitude of our leaders does not reflect any thinking; common sense has escaped from our leadership”, he added.

He said it was appalling that three days after the flood that swept away property and lives, rubbish from desilted gutters have not been collected.

Debris left over by the flood is still on various roads across the country and could easily slip back into gutters when it rains, a situation he believes is not expected to occur if disasters of such nature are to be prevented.

Mr Pratt says that although there is the need for people to change their attitudes, people put in leadership positions are expected to put in place measures that make it difficult for citizens to live haphazard lives.

He said if the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra metropolitan Assembly (AMA) ensured that all gutters constructed were covered, citizens will not drop waste materials into them

“We have leaders because there are problems and it is the responsibility of leadership to solve the problems. Public officials who are paid and given all kinds of privileges are sitting there doing nothing”.

An estimated 200 people have died from from the fire and flood that hit the capital on Wednesday night. Majority of the deceased persons were casualties of the fire incident which happened at the GOIL petrol station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle during the heavy downpour. Some of the deceased persons were said to seeking refuge from the torrential rain when the petrol station went up in flames.

The cause of the explosion is still being investigated, but the situation has been blamed on a petrol leakage at the station.

The floods have also been attributed to the construction of buildings on water ways, with many calling for the demolishing of these houses to prevent future disasters of such nature.

But Mr Pratt says the demolishing of these houses will be an injustice to the poor people who own properties there and are always the target.

“I will continue to resist any demolition that deliberately targets the poor and saves the important, rich and prominent people whose houses are also in water ways”.

The solution to the problem in his view is not the “mindless demolition of houses without regard to the social welfare of our people and the principles of equality”.

“We insist on justice to everybody. If houses on water ways ought to be demolished then everybody’s house must go it is not the poor persons house [that] must go”, he added.

Story by Ghana | | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | [email protected]

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