We said never again after June 3, we thought it was ending after Trade Fair explosion on December 22, we grinned our teeth after the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) explosion on January 26.
What didn’t we say after premix explosion at Axim on June 2012? We said similar things after Tema Valco Estates in Community 12 on August 2014. And what aren’t we saying after the Takoradi explosion on May 9?
Were you not also surprised after last week’s explosion in Tamale?
This is it! A country of 27 million spectators governed by leaders with traits of the proverbial vulture!
Through this trait, Petrol said hello to fire and flood to swallow 150 on June 3. Through this trait, 12 became obituary around Trade Fair ahead of Christmas. Through this trait, 7, made up of women and children went uninvited in Axim. Through this trait, 4 went to sleep in the Tema Valco Estates.
One other went uninvited in the Tamale explosion just last week, and through this trait, 48 out of 152 are still on intensive care after May 9 explosions in Takoradi. Others unknown to me took as many as they could.
Some had closed from work, but needed to refuel to ensure meal is on the table. Others had been sent to refill the “cans.”
Some were even innocent passersby going about their regular duties. As if it’s a drama, within a blink, they all went silent in that catastrophic inferno of no escape!
Many are those forcefully sleeping in graves! These citizens, born in different times under different circumstances, agreed unanimously, at the same time and of same day, to head for that particular gas or petrol station thinking all was well.
Little did they know that they were responding to an involuntary call of execution, set in motion by our proverbial vulture trait; the attitude in people who lead, to make funny excuses, which has given birth to NEGLIGENCE.
Negligence succeeded in setting up a “hell on earth” to swallow husbands, wives, sons and daughters of people from different backgrounds and statuses in the explosions we have witnessed in the last 2 years.
It is true that fuel is dangerously a powerful and destructive commodities. However, it is also clear that they become so, ONLY, when human negligence is involved. I do not want to call it human error. It is negligence!
When we sit in a ‘cabbie’ or a ‘Troskie,’ beneath it is its fuel tank. It remains safe there until a human fails to respect and adhere to its safe use. So it’s pure negligence!
Ghana as a state has done little to safeguard its citizens from explosions. What it has been able to do, is to offer condolences all the time to affected victims.
After the condolences, reports from committee’s setup all the time in times like this, ends up not punishing people or companies enough. So the LACK OF A DETERRENT FACTOR from government agencies report on these incidents is the bane.
Many at times, these companies involved in explosions like these find ways of using their operating license to engage in similar business elsewhere, so they really go unpunished – Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam-Deputy Energy Minister.
The other product of our proverbial vulture trait is the LOSS OF RESPECT FOR LIFE, so you can conclude that, if really the managers of the Environmental Protection Agency, that opaque institution, respected life, all of them would have voluntarily resigned and be prosecuted for superintending over June 3, December 22, January 26, May 9 and a week after on Tuesday May 17, all in less than 2 years. 5 explosions in less than 2 years! Because they care less of the issues, they are not ashamed of sitting in the offices and receiving fat salaries from the sweats of the people they have failed to protect.
You see, what the proverbial vulture says literally is that “let it slip, I’m comfortable with my situation.”
The Ghanaian government and its safety agencies are comfortable with the current scheme of things, so as a result, no new house or old one is rebuilt by the vulture in the dry season. It only cries loud when clouds gather for rains!
They swiftly debate and approve Gh15,000 monthly salaries for themselves, whilst ambulances meant for our hospitals across the country are broken down.
They debate big promises like Free SHS, 1 district one factory and dams and others, when simple cedis for simple gloves and disinfectants are lacking at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital and many others hospitals.
How many times haven’t journalist reported the Korle-Bu medical supply story? Our governments and its safety agencies needs to know that, life is important than any other big promises. Purchase new equipment and get them qualified technicians to work on them regularly! Enough of the killings!
The other cheap opinion held by people calling themselves expert, on why not cite gas filling stations outside populated areas is that “even when you go to the advanced worlds, fuel station are in cited in the middle of the cities.”
This is a cheap answer borne out the proverbial vulture trait. Those saying to government and its agencies, please stop it.
The advanced worlds are different from us! If you care to know, check the emergency response rate of those countries, check their safety compliance standards, do you see that they try to get to emergency scenes within 8 minutes after incident?
Do you see they have the best of firefighting logistics? Do you see their ambulances are always on site, unlike the Sekondi District Ambulance that was broken down on the day of the Takoradi explosion?
Compare to yours in Ghana and see if anyone holding this mentality is not on a course to kill thousands for their ignorance?
Michael Jackson said in one of his music that “don’t stop until you get enough.”
And the bible also says, if you are unable to be truthful in little things, it will be difficult to be truthful in big things.
Let those rotten reports on past incidents be made public. Prosecute people to be responsible for their actions, strengthen the safety systems in the country, and stop the use of human face in national affairs. My mouth drop!
By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo
E-mail: [email protected]