Let’s support families of perished accident victims

BY: Mary Mensah
Ms Felicia Adjei
Ms Felicia Adjei

The NDC Member of Parliament for Kintampo South, Ms Felicia Adjei, has appealed to the government, to identify the families of the perished victims of the recent accidents and duly support them to ease their pain and suffering.

She said majority of those who perished in the accidents were nursing mothers who were bread winners of their families and children.

In a statement on the  Kintampo road carnage the NDC MP told the house that a total number of 57 people died in that accident out of which 35  were burnt beyond recognition adding that majority of those who got burnt beyond recognition were children and breastfeeding mothers.

“Mr Speaker, a mass burial was held at the Jema Cemetery for bodies that were burnt beyond recognition in a very solemn environment with the assistance of the district assembly at Garu and Kintampo South”, she said.

She described the incident as a national tragedy and urged the government to treat it as such by holding memorial services across the entire country for the victims and also declare a three-day national mourning.

The NDC MP suggested that government and the relevant agencies should take the necessary measures to  curb the series of road accidents in the country.

She recounted that on Friday, March 22, 2019 the whole country was hit with the sad news of the tragic incident that took place at the wee hours of the morning which involved two buses, one from Garu in the Upper East Region heading towards Kumasi and the other heading towards Bolgatanga at Ampomakrom in the Kintampo South Constituency.

In a supporting statement, the Member of Parliament and Ranking Member on the Committee of Roads and Transport, Mr Kwame Agbodza said the level of carnage and the number of victims as a result was getting to crisis level.

He said statistics for the first quarter of this year from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service indicated that a total of 411 people were killed and 2,048 were injured through road traffic crashes in Ghana from January to the end of February.

 The MP indicated that Ghana needed to complement its traditional methods of managing and regulating road traffic with cutting-edge technologies in the enforcement of road traffic regulations adding that the institutions in charge of roads must also be resourced.

Speaker of Parliament

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, had earlier stated that Parliament was very much concerned about all issues affecting Ghanaians.

Reacting to criticism from a section of the media and some social media handles on Parliament’s refusal to mention the victims of the road carnage tragedy that hit the nation, he explained that Parliament paid tribute to victims of New Zealand and not those of the fatal road accident in Ghana because the MP billed to give the statement was not in the house.

Accident victims

When Parliament commenced proceedings last Monday, there was no statement on the floor of Parliament on the Kintampo and Ekumfi road carnage which claimed the lives of 68 victims and this attracted criticisms from some media houses and on social media.

However at the commencement of business of the house, the Speaker said they had a good reason for not paying tribute to the accident victims because at the time, the MP had gone to inspect the site of the tragedy.

“Although Kintampo has two MPs – Kintampo North and South, the parliamentary leadership had agreed Ms Felicia Adjei was best situated for the statement”, Prof. Oquaye said.

Parliament on Monday observed a minute silence for victims of the two tragedies that captured the world’s attention - the 50 Muslims who were killed inside a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand and the cyclone victims across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi which left more than 750 people dead.

Road carnage

However at home, a road carnage on the Kintampo-Techiman highway in the Bono East Region last Friday left at least 59 people dead while another road crash at Ekumfi in the Central Region the same day, claimed nine lives were not mentioned.

Parliament then observed a minute silence for victims of the two road carnages in the country last Friday.