The Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament wants the Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Urban Roads of the Ministry of Roads and Highways blamed for his inaction leading to the clash between the students of the Islamic Senior High School (SHS) and the police.
The committee was of the view that “if the department had acted earlier, the fracas which ensued between the students and the police last Monday would have been averted”.
It emerged that the school since 2012 had written to the department 12 times for a speed ramp to be erected in front of the school located at Abrepo junction to end the incidents of vehicular accidents there.
The latest of the stack of letters the committee obtained from the school was dated September 5, 2021 and as part of the mission, the committee visited the school, the crime scene, interacted with the injured students, management of the school and the entire student body and the police.
Interacting with the media after visiting the school and the Ashanti Regional Police Command with members of the Committee, the Chairman and Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central Constituency in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyapong said the Department of Urban Roads should be blamed for the clash.
“We have evidence that the school had written to the Ashanti Regional urban roads director since 2012, the last one was written in September 2021 and nothing has been done and the accident keeps happening there.
“If I were the minister, I will fire the director of Urban Roads, if they had responded to the letters of the school, this incident would not have happened and Mr Amoako-Atta (the Minister of Roads and Highways) you should immediately fire the director of urban roads in the region.
“It is unacceptable that a school identifies a problem, informs the relevant authorities about it and ten years on, nothing has been done about it. It is unfortunate, unacceptable and a shame,” Mr Agyapong bemoaned.
The committee was on a fact-finding mission to ascertain circumstances surrounding the clash which led to 38 students hospitalised and eight policemen injured as police fired tear gas to disperse the incensed students.
The visit was in compliance with a directive given by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin for the committee to ascertain what happened and report back to the House tomorrow.
According to Mr Agyapong, though the students overreacted to the failure of the department of Urban Roads to construct the speed breaks, their action was as a result of frustration and could be justified.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, KUMASI