9 November 2012

Ghana: A Probe Should Not Dwarf Rescue Efforts


Apart from Christians who believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died and arose from the dead, no man since the days of the ancient Adam has died and risen from death as Jesus reportedly did. This is the reason why great importance is always attached to human life, because once it is lost, it can never be recovered.

It was based on this that in our editorial of yesterday, we took serious exception to the role played by building inspectors, regarding the Melcom building which caved in on Wednesday, killing a number of people, and injuring scores. A report, which emerged after the collapse of the building, indicated that the owners of the property did not acquire the appropriate building permit, yet the Town and Country Planning Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) did not deem it fit to demolish the building.

We subsequently appealed to the authorities to launch a full scale investigation into the construction of the building, and why the AMA officials failed to act, despite their claim that the owner of the building did not obtain the requisite permit. It has, however, come to our attention that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has invited some Melcom officials for interrogation. The owner of the building, who is reportedly on the run, is also being sought. We commend them for the swift action.

Whilst commending the BNI for listening to the voice of the people, The Chronicle thinks the investigation into the cause of the disaster should not overtake efforts being made to rescue the rest of the victims still trapped under the rubble.

Ninety percent of the time should be allotted to the rescue efforts, with the remaining 10% going into the investigation. Meanwhile we congratulate Constable Nester Aneateba of the Ghana Police Service for the role he played at the peril of his life to rescue fourteen of the victims trapped under the debris on Wednesday night.

Amoako is said to have meandered his way through the concrete slabs into the ground, and succeeded in bring up the said victims, who had become helpless.

President Mahama has already ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to promote him immediately, and we think the decision was spot on.

This does not, however, mean that the rest of the rescue team do not deserve commendation. From the military, police, fire service down to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), they all deserve praise, as their efforts have helped to save lives.

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