Yesterday, the Ghanaian Times incidentally published five stories that deal with impunity in the public space and the inability of public institutions or organisations and their officials to face the challenges head-on.
One of the stories had it that the traders had created a slum dwelling under high-tension poles at a place named Abuja in Accra, where they lived and ran their businesses until fire gutted the wooden structures there last Sunday.
Then the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, goes there with officials of Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company (GWC) and the Ghana National Fire Service and appeals to the slum dwellers thus: “We are asking you in all humility that we do not want to see any structure or any activity going on here until investigations are done and we get the results.”
In the face of the hazards of living under the high-tension poles, the MCE should issue an order rather than make an appeal.
Let her be prompted that the undisciplined Ghanaian would always flout an appeal in certain situations because it smacks of weakness and it is improper in situations where authority must be stamped.
This does not mean trampling on the freedoms and rights of individuals and groups but making them know that they do not deserve what they erroneously think belongs to them.
Is Ms Sackey indirectly saying if the slum dwellers did not cause the fire outbreak, they would be allowed to return to the place or what?
The open spaces around the poles are for the state and they are left for a purpose rather than a dwelling place and this must be stressed.
In another story, it took the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to stop sand winning in the buffer zone of the Weija Dam that treats water for 1.5 million consumers in Accra and went ahead to ask soldiers stationed at the military checkpoint on the route to the dam to return every truck filled with sand or stones leaving the dam site.
Who is behind theGH₵180 and GH₵200 charged trucks that load stones or sand from the buffer zone?
What is the purpose of the military checkpoint on the route?
The Ghanaian Times wishes to remind the minister that as she has promised, after she and her team have seen things for themselves, the public would be glad to see the deterrent measures they would put in place, which must include sanctions against those who have played a role in this evil against the state, especially GWC officials and those collecting moneys from the truck drivers.
The call by a deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources on Ghanaians to help the government fight illegal mining to protect the country’s water bodies means the impunity in that space rages on despite the war waged on it.
The call also means the government is overwhelmed by the opposition to the war.
It seems some public officials somewhere are sleeping on their jobs, otherwise, why should the Ningo-Prampram District Chief Executive, Al-Latif Amanor, say adhering to assembly by-laws is not the prerogative of the assemblies but a collective responsibility of residents and the assemblies?
Whatever that means, let Mr Amanor be reminded that the assemblies’ adherence to by-laws is by way of letting them guide their activities and that their principal duty is to enforce them for the public to adhere to them.
Therefore, the assemblies should work and stop the confusing grammar.
As if that is not enough, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, comes in to say that the government will strictly enforce laws against plastic waste pollution in line with a renewed effort to tackle the menace.
Certain things are better done than said, so let public officials save us our ears and act and the public and the media would do the talking for them.