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Opinions of Monday, 17 May 2021

Columnist: Fadi Dabbousi

Adopt a 'Henry Quartey' type of national agenda to bring sanity to our cities

In recent times, the spate of lawlessness has seen unprecedented proliferation to the extent that hooligans at traffic lights and intersections, especially along the Police Station stretch at East Legon, Silver Star and Fiesta Hotel traffic light, and other hotspots in Greater Accra are striking fear in the hearts of road users and unsuspecting citizens.

There is no doubt in my mind that same is happening in all the major cities and towns in the country.

I know that there is a strategy taking form to fight this prevalent nuisance. Let me borrow the words of President Akufo-Addo, “We know how to bring the economy back to life, but what we do not know is how to bring people back to life!”

Truly, if we combat the decadence and indiscipline, it will reflect positively on the economy. Investors will have no reservations bringing their money to Ghana although they are coming in droves to do business; but we want more and more!

People will feel more relaxed to promote tourism, which is a multi-million dollar industry.

However, when threats from the unkempt rascals manifest, life lost cannot be called back!

So the Honourable Minister for Greater Accra is blazing the tracks to ensure that the capital city, Accra, realizes a comfortable measure of sanity.

Basically, he has adopted the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest and most beautiful in Africa.

I believe that if the strategy is applied and troubleshot as and when it is being implemented, we will finally get the desired results.

I am calling on all stake holders to adopt the no-nonsense approach of Henry. In fact, there should be a national consensus on scrutinising the strategies he has come with so that they may be adopted as a standard set of measures to rid our cities of unacceptable hooliganism, filth, and the irresponsible behaviour of traders/hawkers invading the streets and their haphazard manner of disposing filth which is congesting the gutters, waterways, and creating the nauseating stench that embarrasses us as a nation wanting to be at the forefront of international politics, investment, and elevated standards!

Hooliganism in Kumasi is not abating. The Minister, Mayor, and Police must make an earnest attempt to combat filth and traffic light madness. Tamale is becoming a hotspot for such shameful behaviour, too.

Basically, this is a cancer that is spreading, and if Henry’s Rambo style application of the laws is not adopted, our people’s recalcitrance cannot be defeated.

Let me recommend that the tragic characters at traffic lights that force to wipe windshields must be taken in swiftly.

They must be put into rehab penitentiaries to reverse the damage of their loose mentalities often the result of illiteracy and irresponsible parents. Of course it can be done!

If we allow this canker to continue, it will become a sore that can never heal. A couple of weeks ago at the Silver Star traffic light, one such unruly character approached to wipe the windscreen of my vehicle.

When I denied him, he wiped his dirty squeegee on the glass anyway, and muddied my vision. So, it is either you allowed them or you got attacked, insulted, or booed at!

It is for this reason, I am strongly in support of the actions of Hon Henry Quartey, and do call for the adoption of his vision, which he is implementing without fear or favour!

Kudos to all who are doing their best to ensure that President Akufo-Addo achieves his goals. In our first four years, the President put in place many social interventions to ameliorate the living standards of Ghanaians.

The economy bounced back! Ghana became the shining example on the international front. Then Covid-19 struck! It threatened to reverse the gains chalked, but the President’s wisdom acted to absorb the shocks and recurrent aftershocks of the pandemic.

Luckily we are on course, once again, and any success in the agenda of Henry Quartey will bolster the government’s plans to make Ghana great again!