General News of Saturday, 10 November 2018
Private legal practitioner Kwame Jantuah has called on government to conduct an audit into all major roads across the country.
His call follows a demonstration by some residents of Adenta and Madina on Thursday, November 8, 2018 following the death of a student of the West African Senior High School (WASS) who was knocked down by a vehicle on the main Adenta-Madina road.
The incident which led to the death of the student is one of many which have led to the death of close to 200 people, according to the residents. Police official report puts the death toll on the highway to 24.
Although there have been several media campaigns and appeals made by residents for the completion of footbridges on that particular stretch, government turned a blind eye to the situation.
Residents seem to have had enough of the deaths and embarked on a protest, blocking the road and burning tires on Thursday morning after the death of the WASS student.
Following the incident, government issued a statement saying footbridges would be constructed within the next three months, a decision many have described as a knee-jerk reaction to the issue.
Less than 24-hours after the incident, faulty traffic lights on the Madina-Adenta road have all been fixed with police Motor Traffic and Transport Department positioned to help pedestrians cross the road.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also come out to sympathize with families of those who have lost loved ones to the road, and called for calm on the part of residents.
Speaking to the issue on the maiden edition of TV3’s Key Points on Saturday, November 10, Kwame Jantuah noted that government ought to take the issues of road more seriously and take actions to curb the increasing number of road accidents.
He added that there are a number of roads in the country that face similar challenges that the people of Madina and Adenta have been complaining about, hence, all the other roads ought to be catered for.
“I was expecting, and I am still expecting the Minister of Road and Transport and government to come out and say Adenta is just a tip of the iceberg, there are other parts of this country where similar things are happening, so what we are going to do is to do an audit of the roads in this country, especially the major roads.”
“Take an audit and let that audit be available to everybody and not in the closet,” Mr. Jantuah stated.
He chastised successive governments for failing to engage Ghanaians on issues that bothered them.
“We are talking about footbridges, do they go to the community, do they speak to community leaders in there, and do they even speak to the parliamentarians for the parliamentarians to go into the communities to talk to their people?” Mr. Jantuah questioned.
“In all these, I haven’t heard parliament speak, and the parliamentarians are the representatives of the people. We would expect that the parliamentarian who represents those people will say something in parliament, but we have heard nothing.”
In his assessment, Mr. Jantuah mentioned lack of finance, lack of law enforcement, and indiscipline on the part of road users as a contributing factor to the carnage on the roads.
He therefore called on government to ensure that roads in the country are well catered for, to preserve the lives.