Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, June 08, 2015
Pressure is mounting on Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Chief Executive to resign from his position following last Wednesday’s deadly floods that killed hundreds of people as the Mayor concedes of his failure in administering the city.
The mayor admitted n Rainbow Radio 87.5fm that he has failed the people in his administration of the city.He blamed the floods partly on the Ministry of Finance for the delay in approving and release of a $ 500 million facility granted by Exim bank of America to dredge the Odaw River to pave way for free flow of water under the Conti project.
He has come under heavy criticism for the poor planning of the capital, particularly the poor sanitary conditions which had been credited with the destruction caused by Wednesday's floods that claimed close to 200 lives.
There have been several calls for the AMA boss who said he has been awarded the prestigious Jose Eduardo dos Santos African Best Mayor, to step aside by emulating other Mayors across the globe whose cities got flooded and they had to resign.
A typical example is the Mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong and his deputy, Ji Lin in China who have tendered their resignation because the city got flooded and 37 people lost their lives last week.
Also, in France, the Mayor of La Faute-sur-Mer in the Pays de la Loire region, Rene Marratier was jailed for four years last December, because the court said he knew the west coast resort town was at risk of flooding.
Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) for instance is calling for the immediate sack of the Mr Vanderpuije.
According to the pressure group AMA boss has failed in his duties as the political head of the capital.
AFAG in a statement said “With all the powers of his office, it was his duty to clean up the city and to have taking necessary actions to have avoided this disaster. He has woefully failed in his duties”.
It said President Mahama has also failed in his duty to protect Ghanaians for lack of or the failure of implementing a comprehensive drainage plan for the capital.
AFAG recalled that in June 2014 President Mahama promised there will be no flooding in Accra again after he said “I have directed the Finance Minister to release funds immediately for construction of storm drains in Accra”.
The pressure group said “A year on, the rains are in and once again, Accra is flooded. Clearly, there is no doubt that Ghana, our beloved nation, is led by leaders who care more about their names in the newspapers, Billboards and faces on TVs than solving pressing issues facing us”.
In the course of the floods last Wednesday, June 3, a Goil petrol station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle exploded killing many people.
The death toll for the fire and flood disasters continued to rise as more bodies were discovered daily.
Officially, the government announced the total number of those who perished at 150 but unofficial source put it beyond 200 aside millions of businesses lost in the disaster.
As at yesterday, a body was said to have been recovered at Teshie Rasta where part of area was flooded.
Aside that more bodies were also retrieved on Saturday and yesterday around the disaster scene at the Nkrumah Circle a child whose was in advance state of decomposition.
Three day national mourning with flags flying at half mast as declared by President John Mahama starts from today.
Call For Resignation
President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe called for the resignation of the AMA Boss saying “the Mayor has overseen too many mishaps which had made his position untenable.”
“I have reached that limit where I think the Accra Mayor really has to bow out. I would be ashamed if I were the son of the Accra Mayor, having seen a series of mishaps,” he told Citi FM on Saturday.
Franklin Cudjoe pointed out that the billboard in Accra congratulating the Mayor and which has since become a source of ridicule for his critics, remained intact despite the widespread destruction caused by the floods.
“The annoying thing is the fact that those structures erecting his awards in the middle of this chaos stood after the rains. They were probably the only ones well constructed probably because they were effigies of his awards.”
He said the time has come for the Mayor to accept responsibility for failing to effectively manage the city’s flooding problems and step aside as it was the ‘civilized’ thing to do.
“Responsibility is a very important matter and he should be ashamed. One of the avenues to expressing angst is when we have this mayor leaving the scene. When he does that, it sends signals to his bosses that he has reached his wits end and it will be enough opportunity for them to get something done.”
“You hear about political interference. Maybe it is a factor but I think that at this stage there have been too many of these mishaps that I think he should bow out. That is what everyone does in a civilized state, just bow out,” the affable IMANI Boss said.
Heads must roll
Matthew Opoku Prempeh aka Napo, NPP MP for Manhyia North also said President John Mahama should resign from office if he could not sanction his non-performing appointees.
He said the President should use the disaster to crack the whip because the city’s authorities failed to effectively on their mandate and particularly mention the Mayor as someone who should have resigned or fired following the floods.
“I don’t blame anybody but the President...he should be responsible. Why shouldn’t it be the President? Didn’t he know there was no money before he went to cut the sod…Does it mean those who joined the President to cut the sod were deceiving Ghanaians? Are the handlers of the President leading the President astray?" he said on Peace FM.
Advice to sue
Sydney Caseley-Hayfor, a financial analyst and anti corruption crusader rather wanted the public to resist any attempt the city authorities to demolish their houses on the grounds that those house are on waterways.
“If this government, through any means gets up and comes to demolish your home on the grounds that you have built your home in a waterway, don’t accept it, sue them,” he said on Citi FM, adding “They have no right to break down you home because the people who are responsible for giving permits for you to build your home are sitting at the town and country planning the district authorities and the municipalities and the metropolises.
That is their job."
“If you are given a permit to build a property in a place where they know is on a waterway and they have managed to disingenuously maneuver around so that the property is built and they come and tell you that you property should not have been built there, reveal who gave you that authority to build and let that person be punished and prosecuted for dong the wrong thing,” he advised