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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

Who is Seth Kwame Ofosu?

John Mahama John Mahama

Was it not just last week Monday that I wrote in this very column that the capital was going to experience another floods? Well, I do not have to gloat over it because one needn’t be a genius to make such an obvious prediction.

Indeed, a friend placed a bet last year after the June 3 disaster that Accra would experience more floods in 2016. Did his prediction not come to pass?

June 3 was very tragic and disastrous. It became the worst disaster in the nation’s history, surpassing the infamous May 9 disaster in both numbers and gruesomeness. The tragic and traumatic nature of the twin disasters of fire and floods are immeasurable.

For sure, it was the type of disaster that would make any serious people rise up. It was the kind of disaster that would make any serious leader put in everything to ensure that the capital city does not witness a similar spectacle again.

But not in Dr Kwame Okro’s Ghana. Our leaders prefer propaganda to finding solutions to real issues. As I intimated last week, our choked gutters laugh at our folly as we lament the loss of lives and shout “never again” but do nothing to solve the problem. Were the choked gutters not vindicated last Thursday?

After about four hours of heavy downpour, the capital was virtually submerged in water. Many households and businesses lost their valuables. How we allow such preventable disasters to continuously occur, with its attendant destruction, beats common sense.

Ironically, the floods occurred exactly six days after Mayor Abodwese had predicted that the capital was ready to withstand any form of floods because the Odaw and Korle lagoons had been dredged. Shameless as they are, the propagandists have not relented. They now tell us things would have been worse, but for their so-called dredging.

But one thing I’m very thankful for is the fact that there was no oil leakage from any fuel station this time. Otherwise, the country would have lost many more innocent lives as a result of other people’s negligence. A committee to investigate such a disaster will go to any length to protect the culprits.

Does the name Seth Kwame Ofosu ring a bell? According to the June 3 committee report, he was the bloke who started the fire after he dropped his lit cigarette stick in the water. The committee is said to have referred him to the security agencies. One year on, no one knows the said Seth Kwame Ofosu; and no one knows the security agency he was referred to.

Pure cover up, if you asked me!

Interestingly, the report found nothing wrong with the role GOIL played in the June 3 disaster. According to the committee, lack of proper drains was the remote cause; leakage from GOIL being the intermediate cause; and Seth Kwame Ofosu’s lit cigarette being the immediate cause. Bizarre, isn’t it?

In my over four decades of existence on this earth, I’ve only read and heard of remote and immediate causes. But for the June 3 disaster committee, which tried to shield GOIL, I’ve never heard of an intermediate cause. In any case, how can the intermediate cause be absolved of blame when its negligence contributed significantly to the twin disasters of flood and fire?

If I were among residents of Adabraka and its environs, and other areas affected by the June 3 fire, I would not allow other people’s negligence to destroy my life. I would organise my fellow victims and get a good lawyer to fight our case in court. I wouldn’t allow any so-called Seth Kwame Ofosu to be wrongly accused in order to protect the real culprits. If the victims residing in Adabraka have ears, let them hear me loud and clear!

You see, our leaders can use propaganda to throw dust into the eyes of the public. But what they forget is that nature does not care about their propaganda. It will expose their incompetence and make them run with their tails between their legs.

Last Saturday on Newsfile, I heard a deputy minister in the Ogwanfunu government said even planned cities experience floods. It is true that Paris, London and other well-planned cities also experience flood. But we should not forget that the amount of water that floods those cities would destroy the over 4 million people in the capital, if the rains fell here. As Manasseh Azure Awuni wrote on his facebook wall, “What made the vulture bald is enough to kill the crow.”

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!