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Indiscipline Killing Ghana   
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Saturday, October 7, 2017 will now be documented as one of the numerous dark days in the country’s history.

On that fateful day, a major gas explosion at Atomic Junction on the Legon-Madina-Adentan road instantly claimed the lives of three innocent lives and four others later, with dozens still on admission, while many others were treated and discharged.

That inferno brings to eight the number of fuel station explosions in the country in the last three years, the most recent and memorable one being the June 3 disaster.

It has become clear that the authorities of state, especially the regulatory bodies that have been duly mandated to ensure that such incidents do not happen, have relegated their duties to the background and are allowing indiscipline to take over the society.

After each of such incidents, the authorities go on a fire-fighting spree, threatening to deal with owners of gas and petrol stations dotted around the city in highly congested residential areas.

The spectacle of filling and gas stations built in all places in the full glare of the authorities is frightening and tells us that law and order has broken down.

We have heard of attempts to raze down some of them but the action has been politicised, thereby defeating an attempt to introduce sanity into the conduct of public affairs. There are also instances when people considered to be highly respectable opinion leaders lead the way to beg city authorities to stop actions against law breakers.

Surprisingly, instead of the authorities insisting on the right thing being done, they succumb to pressure and the illegality is made to be seen as the norm.

While we blame the industry regulator for sitting aloof to allow this to happen, we unequivocally condemn the oil marketing companies (OMCs) who have granted licences to people to construct filling stations anywhere under their brand.

We remind everybody that no matter how hard we try to reconstruct the economy, the success rate will be insignificant if indiscipline persists in our society.

The Vice-President, on his visit to the disaster site yesterday, pledged the commitment of the government to take drastic action to prevent any future occurrence.

While we applaud the commitment, we wish to prevail on the government to go beyond the statement because we believe that the greatest compensation for the people will be the enforcement of laws to prevent such avoidable disasters.

Let us make Ghana work again, and that can happen only when we weed out the greedy ones who care most about what they will earn from their business and not the welfare of the people.

As the alarm bells sound now, let us not allow the people to take the law into their own hands to prevent people from doing what they find risky to their lives.

We wish to express our profound condolences to bereaved families and wish those in hospital a speedy recovery.

We also appeal to the government to crack the whip on those who break the laws with impunity.

We think that our efforts to build a better Ghana will continue to be a mirage if our government and all duty bearers lack the courage of their calling and conviction to compel all to respect the laws.
Source: Daily Graphic

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