Former Mayor of Accra, Nat Nunoo Amarteifio has stated that if the Mayor of Accra- Alfred Oko Vanderpuije- resigns in the wake of the devastating floods and fire, it will be a “frivolous gesture”
He questioned the impact the resignation will make saying, “there is no point in making frivolous gestures just for press acclaim. Will it have an impact?”
The former Mayor on Citi FM said: “The Mayor and his cohorts have become very convenient scapegoats for our collective lack of responsibility. The Mayor is not even elected; he is nominated and he is easily toyed with.”
“Like everything else in this country, we have convenient scapegoats…I agree that there must be some resignations; that is if these resignations will even impact on the public consciousness. I agree that there are square pegs in round holes, but let’s look at the bigger picture too.”
Accra was last Wednesday submerged after hours of heavy downpour. The floods caused a fire outbreak at a Goil Fuel Station near the GCB bank towers at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
Over 150 lives were lost and adjoining homes and shops were destroyed.
Like after every other major disaster, the Mayor of the city, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije faces enormous pressure to resign for his failure to put the right structures in place to protect the inhabitants of the capital city.
However, Nat Nunoo Amarteifio is of the view that it is not the sole responsibility of the Mayor to keep the Metropolis clean.
According to him, last Wednesday’s incident was tragic, but it would be even more tragic “if we as a society refuse to draw the right conclusions from it and continue on as before.”
He observed that residents in the capital city believe that because the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) exists, “we don’t have a responsibility of keeping our environment safe and sound.”
“How much more can you tell people don’t build on waterways?” he queried.
Amarteifio also said the city authorities are equally responsible.
“I blame the city authorities because I know what they are mandated to do” but he was quick to point out that they also have limited powers.”
The former Accra Mayor indicated that at the moment, there is very little open land in Accra because “everything has been paved over.”
He thus warned citizens to note that the city is really built on a “big swamp with waterways, rivers, lakes and lagoons all over. We don’t realize how much we are sitting on water until the rains come and then these water bodies reassert themselves.”
“…I am hoping that this tragedy that has happened will prick enough consciences for all of us to realize that this is far too important to a bunch of underpaid, overworked bureaucrats. They are incapable and the politicians who know that tomorrow, they will be gone. It’s our collective responsibility.”