General News of Friday, 9 November 2012
The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, said on Friday that the collapsed Melcom Shopping Mall at Achimota was not constructed under his watch.
He told a press conference in Accra that the building was started in 1997 and completed in 2008.
“I took office in May 2009 so evidently this construction did not occur under my watch. There is no way I, as Mayor of the city, will be part of any negligence so as to compromise on the safety of the public,” he said.
Dr. Vanderpuije said public safety had always been his watchword and the hallmark of his responsibility as chief executive of Accra.
“Whether I am working on market issues, decongestion of the city, floods, educational development, health and overall construction development within the city, public safety is always at the back of my mind,” he said.
There have been calls by some people for the Mayor to quit in the face of the shoddy work that caused the building to collapse last Wednesday morning.
At least nine people have died while 78 have been rescued from the rubble of the five-storey building housing the Melcom shopping centre at Achimota in Accra.
A task force made up of the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, National Disaster Management Organisation and the National Ambulance Service have been joined by an 18-member Israeli team to rescue more people from the ruins of the building.