The Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, says the accident at the Kintampo Waterfalls over the weekend cannot be blamed on pro-NPP group, Invincible Forces.
In Kweku Baako’s view, until officials are able to draw the linkage between the takeover and the incident, the Forces cannot be held directly liable.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, the veteran journalist said the incident should be investigated, the cause determined and the necessary actions taken to avert a future occurrence.
The death of 19 students from the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and the University of Energy and Natural Resources on Sunday has left the nation in a state of shock.
The students, who were on an excursion at the Kintampo Waterfalls lost their lives tragically when a rain storm uprooted a tree at the bank of the waterfall crushing 18 of them to death instantly. One died later in the hospital.
Following the incident, the chief of the town disclosed that immediately after the 2016 general elections, the pro-NPP vigilante group, in Kintampo Invincible Forces, chased away operators of the facility and took over.
Nana Essah Boakuro lamented that since they took over management of the facility, patronage has gone down due to the Forces’ incompetence at managing the place.
This has caused a lot of outrage among the public who say members of the force who took over the site should be arrested and charged.
A justification of the takeover by the governing NPP’s Deputy General Secretary, Nana Obri-Boahen has worsened issues.
Related: Obiri-Boahen’s defense of Kintampo Waterfalls takeover shameful – NDC MP
But Mr Baako says even if it was true that the Forces took over the management of the place, “there is no linkage, in my view, I don’t see any material linkage between the alleged takeover by the group and the disaster.”
“Because there is a distinction between manning the gate or collecting revenue and that professional work that the tour guides are supposed to do.”
For him, once the tour guides still had access to the place to perform their duties, the Forces contributed nothing to the disaster.
He, however, added that if the Forces took over the place without authorization, then they should be arrested, questioned and punished if possible because that is illegal.
The Spiritual Angle
Shortly after the incident many have attempted to give spiritual connotation to the accident and have called for more prayers. While he will not condemn such beliefs, Mr Baako was quick to add that care needs to be taken when attributing occurrences of this nature to religion and spirituality.
He said the accident is a matter of clear negligence and seeking too much refuge in spirituality will not help.
“We might not get the solution to the problems. I am not saying we shouldn’t have faith, we should, but some of these problems are as a result of our own incompetence and ineptitude,” he stressed.