The Adentan highway protests and matters arising

BY: Caroline Boateng
The Adentan highway protests and matters arising
The Adentan highway protests and matters arising

In the aftermath of the two spontaneous protests and the blocking of the Adentan stretch of the N4 Highway on Friday, October 31 and Thursday, November 8, 2018 after the beautician, Ataa Black Beauty, and the student, Mariam Kassim, were knocked down by vehicles and killed, the character and intentions of the political elite have been brought into question .

Do they really think about the people? Do they consider us at all? Do they work in our best interests at all? What does the political elite respond to? The demands of their stature as politicians or the demands and interests of their constituents, who put them in office?

Monitoring call-ins of various morning shows and WhatsApp platforms from Friday October 31 to date, some feedback from the public about the insensitivity of politicians resonated in all the expressions of frustration.

One caller on Joy FM said politicians in the country had lost their humanity.

All others, who shared their views were disturbed by the fact that another death on the highway had elicited impatience on the part of the road minister, who did not want to be pressured into responding to the question: When will the footbridges be completed?

Things got to a head, when a student of WASS, in one WhatsApp message, was seen describing how Mariam Kassim had come to the school and had stopped to watch their football game.

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She had said goodbye to them to go home, only for her life to be snuffed out, minutes later.

At a point in time, the student pleads for the government to fix the footbridges to end the wanton deaths, going on his knees; he is joined by onlookers, all getting on their knees on the pavement by the side of the highway and pleading for their taxes to be put to work for them!

Really? Has it got to this now? For some Ghanaians to feel such helplessness that they believe begging will be what, peradventure, might get the desired response from their leaders?

Did it have to get to this point? Should it take the death of two young ladies (and more), with spontaneous riots, for our own government, voted into office when we stood patiently in line to cast our ballot, to act responsibly to safeguard the lives of Ghanaians?

I have an uncanny feeling of living in a country where life is not important.

Or else, how would the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), with all those technocrats and “big” educated shots, have constructed a highway and left out crossings for pedestrians?

How can a highway be constructed and for several years lack the basic fixtures, such as lights and markings to help with its use?

Politicians, who of all people should have protected the rights of the vulnerable, sat incapacitated as vehicle upon vehicle sped along the N4, knocking down people, injuring some and killing others.

In fact, it is really, really distasteful for some of them to now come out with condolences to bereaved families and friends of the deceased.

What good would that be? Would it bring loved ones back to life?

We would wish our politicians to be considerate. We would wish they had our welfare at heart.

We would wish that their focus and attention was on the welfare of the people and not on their own highfalutin issues of governance; after all, for the people, it boils down to their welfare.

Once again the happenings on the Adentan stretch of the N4 has shown that our governments understand just one language: protests! They act when we protest.

The campaign pledges of: we will do this, we will do that, have all turned to, “action only, when you demonstrate your anger at being neglected and being treated inconsequentially!

May the dark clouds that billowed in the skyline of Adentan last Thursday not be the ominous sign of dark days ahead.

May, the ghosts of those who have died on the highway to date, if there are really ghosts in this world, protest and haunt all those who neglected their responsibility and duty!

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