Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nana consoles Makola fire victims

Nana Akufo-Addo inspecting the market destroyed by fire.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 23, 2010
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s visit to Makola Number Two Market in Accra yesterday delayed for about two hours as a result of the police’s refusal to allow him entry.

Scores of anxious traders and some party supports thronged the market which was gutted by fire last Thursday night to meet the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer but the police was said to have attempted to block Nana Akufo-Addo from visiting the site because he did not give them five-days notice required under the Public Order Act.

Herbert Krapa, an Aide of the NPP flagbearer said the police had told them that apart from the notice, the place had become a crime scene but Nana Akufo-Addo’s office insisted the flagbearer was there to sympathize with those who lost their capital to the disaster.

Clearance was finally given and Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage including Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson former Mayor and Sheikh I.C. Quaye former Greater Accra Regional Minister as well as other Greater Accra Regional NPP Executives entered the market at about 12: 17 noon amid cheers from the crowd.

He moved to inspect the damage caused by the fire before addressing the crowd which growing every minute in a brief speech.

He said the time has come for managers of markets and other public places in the country to take steps to nip incidence of fire outbreaks in the bud.

Nana Akufo-Addo said “we need to have new arrangements to curb rampant fires in markets and other public places”.

“There have been too many fire outbreaks in our markets lately, and it is high time we took serious steps to bring the situation under control.” Nana Akufo-Addo said to a thunderous applause from the large number of traders who had gathered to catch a glimpse of him and listen to what he had to say to them.

“I am making a passionate appeal to the relevant authorities, especially the Institutes of Engineers, Architects and Planners, to come out with innovative plans for the construction of modern prototype markets that will make it difficult for the recurrence of these fires,” he added.

Though unannounced, Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to the Agbogbloshie market attracted a huge number of people who eventually abandoned their businesses to accompany him and his entourage during their nearly one hour walk around some portions of the market, mostly areas that were affected by the fire.

The policemen present at the market had a hectic time controlling the large crowd that remained adamant in their resolve to catch a glimpse of the man they see as Ghana’s hope for 2012.

He sympathized with the victims asked them to exercise restraint in the face these challenging moments and said he was with them in prayers.

Last Thursday, scores of shop owners at market in Accra could not contain the trauma of seeing the investments in ruins as they broke down in tears following a deadly inferno that swept through one of the modern markets in the country.

The intensity of the fire could be determined by the pockets of smoldering fire dotting the place as at yesterday and firemen had to come in again put them out.
The market was constructed with SSNIT funds with modernity as the watchword and sources say it had been insured.

However, none of the shop owners in the market are said to have insured their wares or goods.

Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage later visited the Jamestown palace to sympathize with the chiefs and elders on the loss of one of their sub-chiefs.

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