One Too Many
President Akufo Addo in his moment of grief, soon after the gas explosion at Atomic Junction said, we have experienced too many such disasters, an anomaly which demands immediate intervention.
Government would come out with measures to forestall future recurrence, he assured the nation. It is the duty of every responsible government to address life-threatening situations as witnessed on Saturday in a sincere manner. That the issue of gas explosions would constitute one of the agendas of the next Cabinet meeting this week, as the President said, underscores the importance of the subject and we find it assuring and heartwarming.
Given his track record in making good his pledges; his ongoing galamsey war a case in point, we have no doubt that President Akufo Addo will roll out measures, stringent of course they will definitely be, to keep Ghanaians safe from the petrol filling station craze that gripped many a government appointee in the erstwhile John Mahama administration. Such facilities have littered the landscape of Accra and elsewhere as they endanger the lives of innocent citizens – most of whom do not appreciate the danger posed by their proximity to the filling stations.
When actions against petrol and gas stations sited dangerously are being taken, let us cooperate with the authorities because we have had enough of such disasters and cannot take them any longer. The unfulfilled promises to take measures against their recurrence when previous experiences visited us have been causes of dampened confidence that positive measures would be applied after all.
Those who witnessed what happened and survived it would not join the choruses of persons who would stand in the way of actions to rid the country, especially Accra, of filling stations wrongly sited.
The human face nonsense should not be tolerated when the bulldozers go demolishing the killer structures housing the inflammable stuff.
Let us not witness another sham auditing of facilities as was done in the previous regime. Those who have already expressed doubt that something concrete and assuring is going to be done, hinge their positions on experience.
Suggestions have been proffered that instead of the physical movement of LPG to vending points, the piping option through pipelines must be considered as perhaps a long-term alternative.
Officials in relevant state agencies who condone wrong-doing in the matter of issuing permits to companies or individuals who do not qualify to be given the authorization must face the music. What is at stake is about life and death and so should not be treated with kid's gloves.
Last Saturday's episode could have been worse but for providence, the downpour which followed mitigating the effect of the danger posed by the raging fire.
Let officials of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) be ruthless in the application of the law underpinning the management of filling stations because not doing so can be disastrous. Fire extinguishers which by law should be placed at every public establishment must be seen to be applied as a requirement. Those who do not comply must be sanctioned.
There have been instances of owners of structures under construction flaunting fire certificates at the foundation level; a clear case of the abuse of the law.
We take this opportunity to express gratitude to the security agencies, especially the GNFS, whose joint response saw us through what could have been the worst disaster in contemporary times. Never again!