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Opinions Tue, 25 Aug 2015

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Death of Ghanaian Times reporter, avoidable fatality

The accident which claimed the life of the Ghanaian Times reporter, Samuel Nuamah and left some of his colleagues in critical condition at the 37 Military Hospital, is regrettable and sad.

It has also cast a long shadow over the rather parlous nature of the occupation of journalists, especially those engaged at the presidency.

A number of questions have thus triggered answers which would doubtlessly open a can of worms about the reckless manner in which journalists assigned coverage of the presidency are handled.

Death of a young man at his prime who left behind a toddler, opens the tear ducts not only of his family members, but his colleagues at the presidency.

We have observed, as have many others especially the media, that the vehicle involved in the fatal accident was not part of the regular fleet of vehicles in the Flagstaff House pool.

Although this bit about the accident has been defended as not being unusual, we nonetheless think it is untoward for the presidency to depend on rented vehicles for the conveyance of the press corps to points of assignments outside Accra.

Some circumstances which we are yet to be furnished with informed the decision to engage a rented vehicle, as it were, from outside – something we consider both a security breach and disregard for the safety of the presidential press corps.

Drivers on the convoy assignments are persons who have gone through a rigorous training regimen, considering the speed at which such vehicles travel when on presidential assignments.

It is therefore unacceptable when an outsider with no such previous experience is tasked to undertake a convoy duty.

The accident has therefore underscored the importance of ending the hiring of outside vehicles for the conveyance of media personnel working at the presidency.

The state of the vehicle is as important as the driver’s state of mind.

It is instructive what one of the injured persons said about the driver when he attributed the cause of the accident to recklessness of the man behind the wheels.

We may not be privy to other details required at this stage to make informed judgment as to what really triggered the accident.

That notwithstanding, we still can make certain observations and therefore proffer advice about how future arrangements for the transportation of the presidential press corps should be made.

We have heard about an announcement that the interment arrangement and miscellaneous matters would be borne by the state.

We do hope that the announcement is not intended to score a PR point since that gesture is after all, the responsibility of the presidency.

What could attract such a PR score is the provision of housing and education for the widow and the kid left behind by the deceased.

That can call for plaudits from us and other Ghanaians, but not providing coffins and a vehicle to convey the remains to the point of burial.

That in fact, is the responsibility of the deceased’s employers.

Columnist: Daily Guide

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