The recent fires sweeping through some major markets in the capital city have given rise to concerns and comments meant to soothe the woes of hardworking market women whose goods have been totally or partially decimated.
In the midst of this national catastrophe, if you have prominent government officials and literate Ghanaians trying to read politics into such a disaster without any official report confirming their view or otherwise, then I dare say that Ghana has taken a backward turn.
Even before the fire service conducts its investigation and renders a report on the Makola No.2 market fire disaster on June 4, we have the sage, Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye rationalising the situation thus, ‘…My people cannot continue to endure this, this is cruel sabotage by cruel people… If it’s not sabotage what is it? What have the people of Odododiodio done?’(See Fire guts Makola No.2 market on Myjoyonline.com-June 4, 2013).
For the life of me, if this sound minister in his sound analysis knows these saboteurs, why can’t he proffer their names? Why will he blame unknown faces for the apparent failures of individuals who were supposed to act appropriately?
The best thing for the minister to do now is to find solutions to the plight of the victims who are in his constituency and not hold on to a branch that has dried up. In other words needless accusations will not repair the damage caused.
Instead of shifting attention from the core of the problem and chastising ghost saboteurs who he thinks are his political opponents and are responsible for this vice, why does not he use his influence to get the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to construct modern markets to replace the planks and cardboards used as market stall?
I guess Nii Lantey Vanderpuye being an obedient servant without facts took a cue from the sitting president who did not hesitate to assert that he would not rule out the nefarious acts of saboteurs at the time the fires were constantly ravaging other markets.
The president and his cohorts should spare some of us their pre-emptive views when investigations are underway. We should allow state funded institutions to have the liberty to function other than they arrogating onto themselves expertise they have not.
The Member of Parliament from Odododiodio must know that a nation is not built on suspicion but on sound economic management based on timeless policies. So I call on the M.P. to unclad his clothe of baseless accusations and stick to the reality at hand by finding a lasting solution to problems confronting those poor market women.
Undoubtedly, these market women deserve commendation due to their contribution towards national development. Some have supported and are still supporting their families with the little they earn. So for them to lose their wares to fire only for their M.P. to apportion blame when there seem to be no solution in sight to sustain them in their time of weary is very unfortunate.
The reality now is when you take a tour of the major markets in Accra, one is confronted with poor nature of the market in terms of the materials used in erecting the stalls. The basic raw materials are planks of wood and in some cases straw mats are used as roofing sheets.
In addition, pavements are taken over not by pedestrians but by petty traders. Stalls are haphazardly dotted at the full glare of city authorities while electrical wires are poorly and illegally connected.
Traders cook openly with sub standard gas cylinders predisposing the market to inevitable fire outbreaks.