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Melcom Building Collapse: Matters Arising

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 Source: Jackson, Margaret

…Building Owner bailed out Kufuor in 2001

…Bought Car for Akufo-Addo

… Has similar speedily constructed structures

… NPP Hurriedly Doing Damage Control

Margaret Jackson

We live in a world in which human beings should matter more than money, yet a certain clique of people believe that money should be all that matters in our cherished country. Therefore, when money is trumped before human beings sooner or later calamity will come crashing at our gates leading to untold hardships and gnashing of teeth.

The Melcom Building collapse at Achimota which has resulted in multiple loss of precious lives is something that should not be taken lightly because it involves many prominent people who for love of money ‘pampered’ the owner of the building, Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo, by looking the other way round and in some instances aided him to site ‘leaking’ multiple buildings in Accra and Kumasi.

And those who gained from Ayeboafo have started the blame game by sending their hirelings to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians just to insulate them from responsibility.

It’s an understatement to say that Ex-President Kufuor’s love for money knows no bounds, because he has stated before that he went into politics to make money. Therefore, within a month after Kufuor had assumed power, Ghanaians woke up to massive renovations at President Kufuor’s house at the Airport Residential Area.

But when Ghanaians raised an alarm as to the source of the funding of the project, Kufuor and his NPP apparatchiks came out to douse the controversy by stating that it was a ‘Good Samaritan farmer’ named only as Marfo who out of ‘love or sympathy’ doled out the millions of cedis for the renovation work at Kufuor’s residence.

But as fate will have it the walls of Kufuor’s house at Airport West came crashing down months after the renovation due to shoddy work exhibited by Marfo, whose real name is Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo.

The NPP did not learn anything from Kufuor’s collapsed wall but insulated Ayeboafo from blame because he has been satisfying the insatiable taste of money of the NPP gurus.

Ayeboafo, therefore, decided to spread his money around by reaching the doorsteps of Akufo-Addo. I want to take Ghanaians down memory lane to draw attention to the black four-wheel drive which Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo drove when he was elected the NPP Flagbearer for the 2008 election. Do you know who donated that vehicle to Akufo-Addo as his widow’s mite? The donor is no other person than Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo.

Ayeboafo who is one of Akufo-Addo’s chief financiers for the 2008 election is also deeply involved in the 2012 campaign of Akufo-Addo by doling out millions of cedis to Akufo-Addo. Somebody with knowledge to this information but does not want to be quoted simply stated, “Ayeboafo is the pillar behind Akufo-Addo”.

This same Ayeboafo is reported to have business dealings with the Kufuor family which spreads from oil to real estate. An unimpeachable source has even sworn that Kufuor gave Kofi Jumah, former Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive the marching orders following his refusal to permit Boadu to complete an uncompleted sinking hotel opposite the Asokwa Police Station in Kumasi. That five-storey building was found to have some structural defects hence the refusal of the Kumasi City Engineers to approve it for completion as a hotel. Around the same area Ayeboafo owns a big petrol filing station.

Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo who also doubles as the chief of Ashanti Nzema in the Ashanti Region is a well connected financier in the NPP circles with the party benefitting from his goodies. Is it any wonder that ex-president Kufuor who has found his political mojo and has been commenting on every political and social issues lately has gone missing since the collapse of the Melcom Stores building at Achimota last week Wednesday?

So far 23 innocent people who are working at the Melcom Stores or had gone there to shop have lost their lives with over 78 people rescued from the rubbles. We are being told that there are several others who are trapped under the rubble.

And when Akufo-Addo emerged from his political hideout he threw insult to injury by announcing that he is donating GHC 10,000 to the victims. What is that supposed to portray? When you do the math it means both the dead and the rescued so far are going to receive GHC 100 each. Is this all that Akufo-Addo who benefited from a brand new four-wheel vehicle from ‘killer’ Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo when he won the flagbearership of the NPP for the 2008 election can offer the victims?

Cunningly enough the NPP bloodhounds have started calling for the head of the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije, rather than the prosecution of Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo, whose greed and negligence led to this pathetic national calamity. The NPP is very much afraid that when the chicken is allowed to come home to roost it will stop at the doorsteps of Akufo-Addo and John Agyekum Kufuor and with less than four weeks to go for the 2012 election, they cannot afford to be vicariously blamed for the Melcom Building Collapse.

An irritating salvo thrown by Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo, is when he claims he warned the Melcom management not to load the building with heavy stuff. Nkansah Ayeboafo should talk less and spare Ghanaians further agony. If he knew that the building was solid and safe why would he worry about the heavy stuff the Melcom Stores, a mass retail shop would load on the building? Melcom leased the premises to carry heavy load that a supermarket chain will carry. Did farmer Ayeboafo, now an estate developer know something that he did not want to tell the Melcom management at that time or was he just being diabolically economical with his advice?

Kwabena Agyepong, Kufuor’s former spokesperson, who claims he is a senior engineer exposed himself to ridicule when he stated that the collapse of the Melcom Building could be attributed to bureaucracy in the granting of permit. If somebody uses cheap building materials and does not resort to structural specs to put up a building what has that got to do with bureaucracy in the granting of a building permit?

I want to repeat that when money is put first before human beings the Melcom calamity is what would visit us. Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo should be severely punished if it is found that he used cheap building materials and also did not build according to structural specification. Nobody who is involved should be made to get away with this because precious human lives have been lost. Somebody’s wife, brother, sister, husband, friend or relative woke up and went to work or to shop. They never had the least idea that at exactly 9:30 am the building will collapse and lead to their death or injury, otherwise they would have stayed home.

Never again should we allow some people to take this country for granted just because of their dirty money or political and social connections. Everybody in this society counts; people matter, you matter! The Melcom disaster could have been you. It can be you next time. This is the time and opportunity for the good citizens of this country, to rally behind the Government, to commit to enforce building regulations in this country. Indiscipline will not take our dear motherland to the Better Ghana.



Columnist: Jackson, Margaret