Blame Gov’t For Deaths – Concerned Ghanaians

President John Mahama
Pressure group Concerned Ghanaians (CG) has blamed President John Mahama’s administration for the recent floods that claimed about 152 lives and destroyed properties running into several millions of cedis.

In a statement signed by Kwaku Ofosu, Goodfellow Ofei Dei and Atick Yakubu, leadership of the group said ‘The June 3 disaster was the culmination of government’s ineptitude, inaction and incompetence.’

According to the group, ‘Mahama literally has blood on his hands’ and ‘his indifference to the plight of the average Ghanaian has resulted in deaths.’

This, they said, was because ‘back in January 2013, in the midst of fanfare, President Mahama cut sod to kick-start the Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Project. Yet it beggars belief that two and a half years after the launch of this $663m project, there is no iota of evidence of progress due to the allocated funds not being released.’

They therefore wondered why it had taken the deaths of over 150 people for President Mahama to suddenly trigger the release of the funds despite Parliament’s approval long ago.

For the Concerned Ghanaians, this raises questions as to what happened to the allocated funds and why the delay?

Given the rampant corruption that has infested government and its organs, leadership of the group said one can only make inferences since ‘it is rather odd that the funds, hitherto held back, are suddenly ‘found’ for a project that should have kicked off long ago.’

‘We can only conclude that corruption has led to their current moribund state; projects that should have alleviated the annual Accra floods. Failure to even start said projects has led to death and destruction. On this basis, it can be concluded that both central government, led by the incompetence of President Mahama, and the AMA, led by the incompetence of Alfred Vanderpuije, have blood on their hands,’ they added.

CG indicated that in their administrations, ‘the two aforementioned individuals have overseen a venal culture of graft corruption and incompetence that has cost lives. Under their watch, organisations that should legislate and enforce laws that should have prevented the June 3 disaster have failed in their duties.’

Also, the group noted that ‘rubbish is thrown into open gutters with abandon, planning laws are flouted resulting in structures being built with no regard to flood zones or fire hazards, building regulations are non-existent, the practicing of open defecation has led to epidemics such as the frequent outbreaks of cholera, the list is endless.’

According to them, ‘prohibition of the aforementioned practices requires not only the passing of laws, but their strong and robust enforcement. Both central government and AMA have failed in this regard. Corruption and mismanagement have resulted in the stalling of projects. The ultimate result has been the lives lost through the Goil petrol station disaster, the associated floods and epidemics of killer diseases.’

‘The dump of a city that is the nation’s capital is amongst the dirtiest cities in the world. It is a polluted disgrace with stench-ridden, disease infested tributaries of open gutters coursing through the metropolis; gutters that are likely to spill over in the event of heavy rains. Filth reigns supreme and there is garbage galore,’ they noted.

Furthermore, they said ‘Vanderpuije has presided over this national embarrassment that is the nation’s capital’ and that ‘if Mayor Vanderpuije were a CEO of a company, his incompetence would have rendered his position untenable.’

They have therefore asked him to do the honourable thing, ‘take inspiration from Sepp Blatter and resign; for it is the right thing to do. He cannot carry on.’

‘We understand that he has been hampered by an incompetent central government. However, he and his administration have failed in even the basics of municipal administration. Even simple, relatively cheap provisions such as litter bins are a rare sight in the Accra metropolis. Where is his strategy? Where is his vision? Vanderpuije, in the light of recent tragic events, must go,’ they insisted.

This, the group stated, was because he views the lives of ordinary Ghanaians as cannon fodder on which to build his political ambitions, insisting that it was the government’s incompetence that led to the loss of lives.

‘Were the lives of ordinary Ghanaians of any significance to him, he would have governed with the aim of improving their lot rather than assisting his coterie of associates,’ the statement further said.

CG as a group could not fathom why government is being lackadaisical and louche in the discharge of its duties. According to them, ‘seemingly immune to the iniquities Ghanaians continue to suffer, Mahama and Vanderpuije swan about with their flunkies to self-aggrandising conferences and photo opportunities, ignoring the realities outside their ivory towers.’

It is for this reason they said ‘he [Mahama] and his administration are culpable of murder’, asking Parliament as an institution to impeach the President since ‘Ghanaians cannot tolerate these iniquities any longer.’ They insisted that ‘Mahama must go before his ineptitude causes any more deaths.’

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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