General News of Sunday, 8 October 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said it is time explosions at fuel stations are stopped.
“It is time these incidents came to a stop in Ghana. We cannot continue with them,” Nana Akufo-Addo said on Sunday, 8 October following an explosion at a gas station at Atomic Junction in Accra which led to the death of seven people and the injuring of 132 others.
He told church members of the Tishigu Anglican Church in Tamale on the 3rd day of his tour of the Northern Region that: “I have asked the Vice President to go back to Accra to see with his own eyes and that of the Minister for Interior, what has taken place. We are going to have to come out with a clear policy on how to prevent such incidents in the future.”
“Cabinet will be meeting on Thursday and, I believe, out of that meeting, the country will know what our programme is, the comprehensive programme we intend to have to bring such incidents to a stop.”
Just like the Vice President, Nana Akufo-Addo said fuel stations explosions are becoming “one too many” and urged “everybody involved in the industry to recognise that we all have to make adjustments to be able to guarantee the safety and security of our people, so these things do not happen again.
“I need your support, and the co-operation of the people of Ghana to make sure that the policies that we will be bringing out succeed, so that such incidents become a thing of the past and not of our future,” he said.
He urged the country “to pray for all those who were caught up in the tragedy in Accra yesterday – the dead and the injured people. We pray for their souls, and we pray for their families, that the Almighty will give them comfort and strength in these trying times.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has been telling journalists in Accra that the Akufo-Addo-led government will deal with fuel station explosions “once and for all”.
Visiting the scene of Saturday’s gas explosion at Atomic Junction on Sunday in the company of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Defence Minister, Minister for the Interior as well as the Minister of Science, Environment, Technology, and Innovation; the Inspector General of Police amongst others, Dr Bawumia hinted at new policies which will solve the problem “once and for all”.
“It’s a very sad and very tragic day” for Ghana, Dr Bawumia told journalists, adding that: “On behalf of the president, I would like to extend my condolences to all the bereaved families and also our sympathies to all those who have been injured and affected.”
“In fact, all of Ghana has been affected, it’s a major tragedy but at the end of the day, this is one too many, this is about the eighth explosion in three years and I think what Ghanaians really want is a solid policy to deal with this matter once and for all; we are going to deal with it.
“It’s not about committees upon committees and committees and nothing gets done. I think that we owe it to the country and the government is going to take this very seriously and discussions were being held last night about the way forward.
“We wouldn’t pre-empt too many things but some new policies are going to come in and those who will try to resist those new policies, I don’t think they would be listened to because it’s important to put the safety of our people above everything else and I think it is in the interest of the country that we actually implement some new policy directions,” Dr Bawumia said.
He said the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Ministry, Ghana Fire Service and all relevant stakeholders will “be involved as we put this new policy in place and we are going to move quite quickly, it’s not going to be one that you wait for weeks for it to happen, it’s going to happen relatively quickly, we pretty much have an idea of what we need to do in terms of policy…” the Vice President noted.