Pedestrians using the Adentan stretch of the N4 Highway experienced a reprieve on Friday due to the presence of policemen to help them cross the eight-lane road. The road has become notorious for the death of many pedestrians, a situation which many people have blamed on the six stalled footbridges on the road.The development followed a spontaneous protest that broke out last Thursday after the death of a 19-year-old student of the West Africa Senior High (WASS) who was knocked down and killed by a car.
When the Daily Graphic got to the area around 9 a.m. yesterday, policemen were seen at various sections of the road, including the area directly under the uncompleted footbridge where the student was killed.
It was a comforting sight for pedestrians, as the police stopped vehicles to allow them to cross.
Hitherto, pedestrians had to risk their lives in order to cross the eight-lane road.
While some pedestrians expressed delight over the presence of the police, others were not that enthused and described it as too little, too late.
“We thank the police for coming to assist us, but I think it is a matter of too little, too late. They should try and fix the footbridges as soon as possible,’’ Mr Simon Tetteh, a resident, said.
Another resident, Ms Cecelia Annan, pleaded with motorists and pedestrians to act responsibly when plying the road.
“Inasmuch as we want the government to complete the footbridges, we must also not forget that we have a responsibility to safeguard our lives and those of others. Right where the accident happened is a road sign that puts the speed limit at 50km/h but drivers do not obey it,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed his condolences and those of the government to the family of the student who lost her life in the accident last Thursday.
“I express my deep condolences to the family of the student who lost her life yesterday at Adenta. Our nation has suffered an unnecessary loss. The scenes that played out in its aftermath are regrettable and should not happen again,’’ he said.
He said the Ministry of Roads and Highways had put together a comprehensive plan to address all infrastructural problems “which are legacies of decades of neglect’’.
President Akufo-Addo urged drivers and pedestrians to obey the laws governing road usage. “All of us — the government and the citizenry — have a collective responsibility to safeguard and preserve life. My condolences once again to the family,’’ he added.
In a related development, a government delegation, led by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, visited the accident scene and the family of the victim on Friday.
The delegation included the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Attah; the Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah; the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, and other commanders of the Ghana Police Service.
Mr Dery expressed regret for the death of the student, saying “even one life lost is one life too many’’.
He said the police were in the area to maintain law and order and appealed to the public to give the police the needed cooperation to enable them to achieve their mandate.
“The police are supposed to help us in every situation. I appeal to all citizens to cooperate with the police because they are not our enemies,’’ he said.
For his part, Mr Attah said the people had the right to demand the completion of the footbridges, adding that steps had already been taken to complete the six footbridges on the highway.
“The recent knockdowns are unfortunate and regrettable. We are going to continue with our efforts to complete the footbridges,’’ he said.
The Transport Minister, Mr Asiamah, said the incident should not degenerate into a blame game but should serve as a time when people would come together to find a lasting solution to the problem.
“Let us not incite the people but let us educate our people on how important it is to protect life,’’ he said.