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STATESMAN OPINION : HOLDING DUTY-BEARERS ACCOUNTABLE

General News

On the death of a person, Ghanaians express the kind of condolences and grief that appear unmatched in any part of the world, but our acts of commissions and omissions appear to give us away as people who do not place much value of human life.

On the death of a person, Ghanaians express the kind of condolences and grief that appear unmatched in any part of the world, but our acts of commissions and omissions appear to give us away as people who do not place much value of human life.

 

That is why an individual, in pursuit of his financial and material gains, can pollute the only source of water for a whole community while engaged in illegal mining activities. That is why an individual can enter a forest and fell all the trees there, without any regeneration plan, and not bothered about the repercussions on the whole society. That is why people can site fuel and gas filling stations within a residential area without meeting strict safety standards, and only interested in his commercial interest. That is why a school owner will allow a rickety vehicle to convey little children to and fro school and only interested in the money he gets from their poor parents.

This is the reality of life in our part of the world, just as it pertains in many other places across the globe. The reason is that human beings are naturally self-centered. And it is for this reason that a system of governance has been developed to get people into positions of trust and responsibility to manage the affairs of any group of people.

In point of fact, in our country here, it the duty of such people, both elected and appointed, to ensure that there is no illegal mining activity to pollute the source of water of any society. It is their duty to ensure that our forests are protected from abuse by selfish individuals. It is their duty to ensure that school children are conveyed in suitable vehicles. And, indeed, it is their duty to ensure that gas explosions do not occur or their effects on lives and property minimized.

Unfortunately, it appears that has not been the case our country ever since we gained political independence.  This is because people who occupy positions of responsibility are more interested in what they stand to gain personally from the positions, instead of how they can make the lives of people more comfortable.

It is against this background that we wholeheartedly endorse the call by the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Kingsley Nyarko, on the powers that be to be resolute and begin to relieve public officials of their duties when they are found wanting.

We do not think it makes any sense for the state to continue keeping people in office and paying them to make life more uncomfortable for the people.

“They need to ensure that the right interventions are put in place, existing rules and regulations are followed and enforced, and negligent leaders are made accountable to their actions and inactions. Those who have been assigned responsibilities must justify the trust reposed in them; they must prove that they are up to their assigned mandate, and removed when they fail. Is it not time for us to start holding our leaders accountable to their offices? Is it not time for us to hold our Metropolitan/Municipal/District Chief Executives and other duty-bearers accountable to their offices? When we start relieving duty-bearers of their responsibilities for want of action or negligence, we shall be making progress.”

That is what Dr Nyako is advocating, especially in the wake of the recent gas explosion that claimed seven previous lives and injured over 130 people, with property worth several millions of cedis destroyed. And we lend our total endorsement for this position.