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Opinions of Friday, 24 March 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Stop playing political and superstitious blame game with the Kintampo Waterfall disaster

By: Adofo, Rockson

Firstly, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, schoolmates and the tutors of the victims of the Kintampo waterfall disaster. It is sad to lose twenty precious lives of students on excursion to familiarise themselves with tourist attractions and sceneries of historical importance or wonders of nature. I wish those still in critical condition speedy recovery.

I should like Ghanaians, especially our partisan-induced-minded politicians and their supporters to cease pinpointing one another to blame for being the cause of the disaster that befell our dear students and fellow countrymen at Kintampo in the Brong-Ahafo region. Much as it was a natural disaster, human error through negligence of duty by those entrusted to ensure the safety and protection of those visiting that site, could markedly have contributed to the mishap of the students.

Instead of laying the blame squarely on nature and human negligence, to better find solutions to avoid any future repetition of that untimely accident, some superstitious Ghanaians are attributing the occurrence of the incident to the gods of the river for exacting their anger and punishment on the students for being denied their due ritual acknowledgements for far too long. I find that excuse quite irresponsible and the view of lazy people who lack the ability, wisdom and intelligence to come up with well-defined solutions to the problem to avoid its reoccurrence in the near future.

Being political with the problem, where the NDC are blaming the NPP for the incident because of the curse invoked by one Mr Kwame Baffoe, alias Abronye DC, during the few days preceding the conduction of general Election 2016, is understandably upsetting if not completely nonsensical.

I heard him, then unknown to me by his identity, on radio, in a taxi I was travelling in from Mampong in the Ashanti region to Effiduase in the Ashanti region, say, in the invocation of the curse that anyone who would steal any ballot box or make any efforts to rig the election by whichever means must die. He called some fetishes and water spirits etc. to kill anyone who would resort to any foul means to win the election. He sealed the curse with the slaughtering of a sheep to the invoked numerous fetishes and water spirits. Therefore, since the students were not of voting age and could not have in anyway attempted to influence the results of the election through rigging for any particular political party, how dare any discerning Ghanaian accuse Abronye DC for being the cause of their death through his curse?

Even though the President Mahama NDC-led government could have done much better to make the Kintampo waterfalls a safe tourist attraction for people to generate money for the country, their short-sightedness as influenced by their infatuation with corruption to get rich overnight, prevented them from doing so. Nonetheless, we should not be playing (the game of) political Ping-Pong with it.

It is a human tragedy that has partly been brought about by human negligence which we should all feel ashamed about as a nation and people rather than to seek to apportion blames to cause further aggravation of agony to the bereaved families.

Our leaders must be seen to sit up to do the right things to guarantee the safety and protection of the people at all times and at all places instead of cherishing the idea of involvement in corrupt practices to earn quick buck to live ostentatious lives at the expense of the safety and collective well-being of the citizenry.

Once again, I share the pain and tears of the bereaved families, the victims’ friends and their schoolmates and tutors.

May their souls rest in perfect peace.