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16.05.2007 General News

VICTIMS OF MAY 9…Have they died in vain?

By Ghana Lens
On May 9, 2001, there was no natural disaster, there was no earthquake and there was no enemy air raid on the country but the people of Ghana woke up to a very tragic news.
127 or more football fans had been killed in a stampede that followed a league match between the two glamorous football clubs in the country, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Last week Wednesday, May 9, marked the sixth anniversary of the Accra Sports Stadium disaster in which those football fans died at the hands of the Ghana Police.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government led by President John Agyekum Kufuor, quickly announced the setting up of the Okudzeto Committee to look into the circumstance that led to the tragic death of the 127 football fans.
Like all the committees of Enquiry set up since President Kufuor came into office, the Okudzeto Committee was also a waste of national resources without anything coming out of it's report.
In spite of all the evidence before the Okudzeto Committee, at the end of the day, not even one of the football fans who were seen on Television screens removing and throwing stadium seats and the Police who were shooting Tear Gases indiscriminately at the already suffocating football fans, were prosecuted.
At the end of the day, Ghanaians from all walks of life, contributed millions of cedis to help the dependants of the victims. Mr. J. H. Mensah's fund raising committee which was in charge of all the monies collected, promise the families of the dead that they would be taken care of. Six (6) years on and nothing has been done for majority of the dependants of the victims.
The day itself, passed quietly without any ceremony or even a mention in government circles. Majority of our newspapers were silent on the day, while the state owned media, did not see anything news worthy with May 9.
How quickly, as a nation we can forget things that are so dear to our heart, to the extent that in a matter of only six years we can forgot 127 lives.
"The Ghana Palaver" believe the people of Ghana and indeed the families of those who lost their lives on that faithful day, needs to know what has happened to the millions of cedis collected from the general public on their behalf and how soon they can all be catered for.