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24.03.2009 General News

Pastors point at combination of causes for rise in accidents

By The Ghanaian Times
Pastors point at combination of causes for rise in accidents

The forces of darkness could be the potential cause of the spate of road accidents in the country, says the Rt. Rev. Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.

“The spiritual dimensions of the recent spate of fatal accidents, therefore, call for spiritual solutions”, Rev Frimpong-Manso told The Ghanaian Times in Accra on Monday in sharing his thoughts about the carnage on the roads.

He said although the churches were doing their bit, a lot more could be done in collaboration with the state.

Ghanaians, he said had not succeeded in asking God to lead them in their ways, particularly their behaviour on the road.

Rev. Frimpong-Manso took issues with the police, especially the patrol teams, accusing them of resorting to taking bribes and not being bothered about the state of vehicles plying the roads.

“If you look, for example, at the accident that occurred at Apedwa last week, the police, if they were diligent enough, they would have been able to realise that the container which slipped and fell was not properly positioned," he said.
“It is not enough to just stand in the middle of the road and not do anything to prevent such tragedies,” he added.

He stressed the need for drivers to ensure that their vehicles are in good state.

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Fred Deegbe, whilst not disagreeing with the spiritual dimension as presented by the Presbyterian Moderator (who incidentally is also the chairman of the Christian Council), said he would not discount the prevalence of “blood covenants” and therefore the operation of evil spirits, for which reason “we must continue to fast and pray and engage in binding and losing”.

Rev. Deegbe however said he does not think the road accidents were the result of blood covenants entered into by politicians who made promises to gods who were now demanding blood in return.

He said, when the national statistics are considered which blames human error for more than 70 per cent of the accidents, then “I'd rather look at the natural causes and fix them rather than attribute them to spiritual forces”.

Citing the example of the accident in Koforidua which was caused by a tyre burst, he asked: “what do spiritual forces have to do with worn-out tyres? The driver was obviously so careless or so negligent that he simply did not check his tyres.”

It was about time, Rev Deegbe said, that society got strict with the enforcement of regulations. “We should have a system that makes it impossible or difficult for people to drive when drunk or tired. Why should we give license to or renew the license of a driver who is so illiterate that he does not understand the road signs?”

He cited his own experience in the United States of America where he was arrested for careless driving. “I was given the option to choose between the fine and going for lessons in defensive driving. I chose the latter and the knowledge has been with me since then. People should not only be taught how to drive; they should learn how to drive defensively," he advised.