Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has reminded Ghanaians to exert pressure on the government to make our roads safe and prevent bad drivers from driving on them.
Reacting to the gruesome and fatal Kintampo-Tamale road accident that claimed more than 60 lives on Wednesday evening, he said on his Facebook page that “this brings to the fore the matter of death by road accidents in Ghana.”
“Here it is almost as if we have become hardened, resigned, used to and taken road accidents as a normal part of life. Every week, our media houses feature report after report of road accidents and resultant deaths,” he stated.
Over 60 perished
Over 60 people lost their lives after a truck loaded with tomatoes collided with a Metro Mass Transit bus near the Kintampo Waterfalls junction.
A number of the passengers with severed body parts were trapped in the mangled bus as the locals struggled to cut open the vehicles to retrieve the dead and those alive. The locals, who resorted to chainsaws to cut the bus in order to reach the trapped passengers, said they believed that all the occupants of the Metro Mass had perished.
Is Ghanaian life cheap?
“Sometimes over 20 people die from one road accident and nothing is heard from transportation and other government officials. No alarm. Is Ghanaian life that cheap to be taken for granted in this way?” Dr Nduom asked.
He further asked: “Where is the analysis of cause? What do we do to drivers who cause these accidents? What should we do to government officials who have responsibility for design, construction and maintenance of roads that are safe?”
“We must put pressure on the government to stop bad drivers from going behind the wheel of any vehicle. It means tightening the process to acquire a driver’s licence to flush out accident-prone drivers,” he declared.
He also pointed out that it meant making use of the national identification database (when we decide to take it seriously) while encouraging the government of the day to take seriously the implementation of emergency facilities, equipped, staffed and stocked with the needed supplies to deal with road emergencies.
On what the value of human life in Ghana was, he recalled that it was reported recently that at least 85 people had died in Ghana from the outbreak of pneumococcal meningitis.
“Early on, a government health official had said there was no cause for alarm! How many people have to die before the alarm bells go off? he asked.
In this matter, Dr Nduom stated that this disease was known as one that showed up with the onset of harmattan.
“Though the current strain of the disease is said to be “different”, it could not have taken our health officials by surprise. It happens every year. So when will we organise regular prevention activities? When will we place a high value on Ghanaian lives? he asked.
Earlier, President John Dramani Mahama had described the accident as “very sad news.”
Mr Mahama wrote on Facebook that he “received the sad news of an accident involving an MMT bus on the Kintampo-Tamale road. Condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones. Emergency services working to attend to injured passengers. Very sad news.”
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also expressed his condolences to the families who “lost loved ones” in the highway crash.
Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted about the incident the day after, describing it as “sad.”
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, also has described as “horrific news” the gory accident on the Kintampo-Tamale highway.
The British government’s representative in Ghana took to Twitter to grieve with the bereaved families and Ghanaians. “So sad to awaken to the horrific news of so many people lost in last night’s tragic bus crash in the north of Ghana. Sincere condolences.”