Snoring Ghana & the Accra-Kumasi Highway Monsters

Fri, 6 Jun 2014 Source: Mensah, Solomon

Few days ago, trending on our print and electronic media- newspapers, television, radio, online among others- was the news of the armed robbery incident on the Accra-Kumasi highway.

The crime, which eye witnesses reported was suspected to have been carried by about five Fulani men, saw one driver who plied the road being killed and other commuters being robbed, too.

Speaking on Sunyani-based Sun-City Radio, a driver who witnessed the horror ‘movie’ but escaped death narrated his ordeal. According to him, on the said day, he was journeying from Accra to Kumasi. At a point on the road, he was signaled to stop by a man. The driver says he had already noticed a quasi-accident-involved car parked somewhere ahead of him. So… he thought the helpless man's frantic call was aimed at saving the accident-involved car’s victims.

After ignoring the supposedly help-needing man, he, however, realized that he was the conductor of an accident-involved car whose master (driver) had been shot to death by these unknown armed robbers. Apparently, he was trying to tell him to stop. These ‘monsters’ ahead had taken the life of an innocent driver and wouldn't mind taking his, too.

The eye-witness-driver told Sun-City Radio’s morning show host, Nana Kas, that when the armed robbers shouted, "Stop!" at him with their guns being brandished in the air, he said his last prayer. “I knew I was standing between the junction of life and death,” he said.

Fortunately for him, they took all the money on him and that of his conductor and were ordered to lie prostrate like an agama lizard that had fallen from an iroko tree. “My phone fell from my pocket and laid few meters from where we had prostrated on some weeds. I wanted to crawl, take it and call the police but my conductor warned me to stop lest they shot us to death.” Had the robbers taken one of the eggs from the crates of eggs he had loaded into the Kumasi-bound car and placed on his heart, it would have cracked. Trust me.

“Lying on the weedy floor for some minutes, we saw a VIP bus coming. They gave a warning shot signaling the bus driver to stop. After the bus stopped, they demanded that he opened the bus’ door of which he refused. They started firing at the door and broke its glass windows through which they passed into the bus,” he confirmed. The nightmare-narrating driver said that the bus then stood as still as a cemetery and what really happened in it was unutterable.

That was just an eye witness’ naked-eye-coverage of the monsters’ horror. This is not the first of such armed robbery cases on our highways, especially that of Accra-Kumasi road. Neither is it going to be the last.

When such happens, the newspapers give it a front page honour and the radio and television stations re-echo it on their proverbial ‘newspaper review’ shows. Security experts are called on to suggest ways of curbing the highway menace and the very armed robbers, I suppose, laugh. Why? One needs not to be a prophet to tell the robbers that ‘all the seeming concern would die off after a week.’

So... while ‘Ghana’ heavily snores over such an important, life-threatening issue as this, the robbers adopting the guerilla’s tactics would continually have a field day- coming like a flash in the pan, attacking, looting, killing and dashing back into the thickets. After all, who cares!?

Whenever I sit in a bus plying the said highway, I incessantly say, "Thank you God for how far you have brought us," in every one hour. Indeed, in this crazy world where some brutes would take guns to rob and kill when they feel like doing so, one cannot help but be thankful to God for a safe trip.

Is it not sad that our various political parties see education as the only bit of their manifesto worth achieving? Nana Nyame’s sun is shining in vain. In this technological era, can’t we have solar street lights on the Accra-Kumasi highway and the other highways for the sake of those whose votes would make the politician what he or she prays to be? Can’t we have security patrols on the roads? I reiterate, "No one cares!"

The buses at first adopted the police-on-board policy but if I may ask, “3k) sii s3n?” Nine day (or even less) wonder!

The National Road Safety Commission, the Government of Ghana, the buses, and authorities concerned, together with our media are heartily snoring. Indeed, our elders were prophetic in opining that, "when the hen is drunk, she forgets about the hawk." Are we not overdrunk with politics?

On the day a new government is sworn into office, the politicians would launch ‘the operation next election’ campaign and sadly, majority of our media houses would trumpet such agenda throughout the four-year tenure.

We may continue to snore but we must not forget that we cannot kill a louse with one finger. It was that driver then, who knows who is next? Maybe you, maybe me. I am not a prophet of doom.

The writer is a Sunyani-based Freelance Journalist/Cultural Activist.

Email: nehusthan4@yahoo.com

Twitter: @Aniwaba

Blog: www.aniwaba.blogspot.com

Columnist: Mensah, Solomon