General News of Friday, 9 November 2012
The Executive Director of Safety Ghana, Nana Annor Amihere, is bristling with indignation over the decision of the Accra Mayor to keep his job in the wake of the Melcom shop disaster.
Although the Mayor, Alfred Vanderpuye claimed the Melcom shopping complex had no building permit, he said he cannot be held responsible for the disaster, saying the structure was constructed before he assumed office in 2009, seeking to absolve himself of any blame.
But Nana Amihere who has done a lot of work in the area of safety would have none of that.
He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday that all that Mr Vanderpuye has been saying was “bogus”.
Mr Vanderpuye cannot absolve himself of “any wrong doing”, he said, explaining that governance is a continuous process. “If I were the advisor of the Chief Executive, I would ask him to keep quiet, to shut up!”
According to Nana Amihere, since AMA officials take commercial property rates from the owners of the building, it presupposes that the building has a permit.
He advised the Mayor to take a back seat and allow his public relations officer to do the talking; claiming Mr Vanderpuye has been contradicting himself on various media platforms.
“Mayor is digging his own grave,” he warned, convinced that “he is showing gross incompetence.”
The Executive Director of Safety Ghana emphasised that if the AMA boss "doesn’t resign, then the president should take the bull by the horn and fire him.”
The owner of the building Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo and the AMA Ga West Director of Works, Mr. Carl Henry Clerk are being questioned by the Bureau of National Investigations for roles they may have played in triggering the disaster.
Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzato Ablakwa confirmed to Joy News as of 6pm Friday that the two were still in BNI custody.
But for Nana Amihere, interrogating the two is tantamount to “picking up little flies; that doesn’t resolve the issue; the buck stops with the Ama boss."
Meanwhile, over 80 people have been rescued, and 10 persons confirmed dead, Joy News; Elton John Brobbey reported from the disaster scene.
He said he was allowed access to the rescue zone where he saw two seemingly lifeless bodies under a concrete beam.
He observed that the rescue operation is being hampered by the strong stench emanating from the underneath of the rubble.
The hope of finding anymore survivors, according to him is fading by the minute.
He also narrated the chilling story of a victim who called her ex-boyfriend describing the exact location of collapsed building where she was.
Later attempts to reach her proved futile as her mobile could no longer be reached probably because she had run out of battery.
As of Friday evening, rescuers could not also communicate with four other people trapped in a mangled elevator, with whom they could communicate earlier in the day.
Greater Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer of DSP Freeman Tettey told Joy News on MultiTV that although they were able to communicate with some persons under the rubble Friday money, unfortunately, those persons were no longer responding to their calls.