THE FIRE OUTBREAK AT THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY:
On the 21st October, 2009 I called my brother in Ghana to discuss some family issues with him, then he told me that he was listening to the news in his car and have just heard that the ministry of foreign affairs of Ghana was under fire! I told him that I will also tune to other networks to monitor events.
I did, and even made some calls to Ghana; the unpleasant news was that, the ministry was truly under fire and there was practically nothing the Ghana Fire Service could do to fight the fire. The reason being that the right fire fighting equipment to confront the fire was absent! The Ghana fire service was later on reported to have said that if they had equipment called Turn-table ladder the fire that gutted a ten storey building wouldn’t have gone beyond the first floor!
I definitely knew that, the number one problem that was to confront the ministry was to be the issue of records and other documents. The truth is that, there is no ministry in Ghana that stores information beyond what I will call the pre- independence paper files. We seem to be several miles away from computerisation of all our ministries. I don’t think it is only Ghana that is faced with this problem of proper and reliable archival of our documents electronically. It seems to be a problem in most parts of Africa.
Like it was generally said, this is a wake up call to everybody and this is the right time to resource not only the Ghana fire service but also other ministries and agencies. I have seen what the absence of very basic equipment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital has done to my brothers and sisters in the north including by own Dad As of the time of writing this article my Dad was en-route once again to Accra for very basic scanning, x-rays and other tests to be conducted on him. The reason being that the whole north lacks the right equipment to take care of him and others in similar situation!
This is not about politics it is about the realities facing every sector of the country. One only comes face-to-face with it and sees its enormousness when it affects you very directly. If you want to know how inside the ovum feels then you have to ask bread!
So the fire outbreak at the ministry of foreign affairs, and the inability of the Ghana Fire Service to fight it effectively, because the right fire fighting equipment was unavailable should be a source of worry to all of us. It is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today it could be any other place tomorrow that will be affecting us very directly.
I don’t know but will it be right to ask if the fire outbreak at the ministry of foreign affairs was also predicted by Pastor TB Joshua? It is like Ghana has become so addicted to the predictions of that pastor. When president mills won the elections in 2008, it emerged in certain circles that, he predicted that victory of Mills. And only yesterday when Ghana won the under-20 world Cup he was seen in a youtube video taking the credit again and alleged to have predicted that victory.
Question To Ask Now.
The question to ask now is that, did he predict this one too? If yes why was turn-table ladder not obtained and readied to fight the fire and if no why was he unable to predict this one? Anyway this is just by the way.
I must say that, it is so disappointing that, certain politicisation and other reasons are being attributed to the fire at the foreign ministry. Please nobody should be aloud to throw contemptible allegations and rumours about. Especially as an eye witness who is also a Director at the ministry is reported to have said that, the fire was caused by a faulty air-conditioner! Morgan Brown the said director recounted how the initial fire from the air-conditioner was fought and defeated by a fire extinguisher but restarted again and got serious leading to what has happened.
Officials of the Ghana Fire Service who came to fight the fire could not do anything not that, they were unprofessional to fight the fire but because they had no equipment to fight the fire. They told the Media that, if they had a Turn-table ladder the fire wouldn’t have done the damage it caused. I hope we were not expecting them to run into the fire to confront it just because they work for the Ghana Fire Service. There is a proverb in my local Dagbanli language that which translates; If you want a juju against bullets or gun shots you don’t use your head for it”
May I also used this opportunity to call on the Ghana Police Service to avoid premature comments about what sparked the fire especially as an eye witness in the person of Morgan Brown a director at the Foreign Affairs Ministry has given some idea about how the fire started.
I did like to also commend President Mills for saying that, they will not be any witch-hunting and scapegoating about what caused the fire. His promise to equip the Ghana Fire Service is also refreshing but it must be extended to all ministries.
And to the fanatics who are bent on witch hunting and looking for scape- goats; the faulty air-conditioner and the absence of the right equipment to fight the fire should be where your attention should be directed at.
May I also sympathize with all workers at the Ministry of foreign Affairs on this unfortunate occasion especially those of them who may have lost their own vital documents, who know maybe including even their certificates during the fire outbreak.
Source: Akilu Sayibu UK Email: [email protected]
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