The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye has rejected accusations that the house is unconcerned about the plight of the victims of last Friday’s accidents that claimed over 70 lives.
According to the Speaker, the MP for Kintampo South, Felicia Adjei had been earlier tasked by the Leadership of Parliament to brief the house on accident.
In defence of Parliament, the Speaker said, the MP was still in her constituency dealing with the aftermath of the accident and thus, commiserations were shelved until her return.
Parliament was heavily criticized on Monday for honoring the memory of victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe as well as the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand without a statement on the gory incidents back home.
Ghanaians on social media called out the leadership for failing to speak about the accidents that took over 70 lives on Friday.
Addressing MPs, Prof Mike Oquaye said Parliament is concerned about the accident and it is unfortunate that the public misunderstood their actions.
The Speaker of Parliament said; “Of the road accident involving the two buses. It has come to my attention that some members of the public, have wondered why there was no statement of this tragedy yesterday in this honorable house at the time where we had talked about some tragedy elsewhere. We have a parliamentary press corp if the media will engage them on such matters before relevant reportage because we had good reason yesterday, the honorable member who had already filed a statement had to go outside because of what had occurred in her constituency and leadership agreed that she must be the appropriate person to lead the statement of this in this honourable house.”
He also added; “We will want the public to also publish this as a way of reflecting the truth of the matter, this house is very much concerned about such matters and will address such matters with expedition and dutifully”
Meanwhile, Kintampo South MP, Felicia Adjei who is currently in Accra called on Government to support the families of the victims.
As a measure to deal with road accidents in the country, the Kintampo South MP called on the Ministry of Roads and Highways to dualize all major highways in the country.
“The Ministry of Roads and Highways must collaborate and make our roads much safer for the travelling populace. This accident could have been avoided if the driver of one of the vehicles had listened to the passenger according to a survivor account of the accident… Government through the ministry of roads and highway should as a matter of urgency extend the roads to double lanes and also provide street lights to all our major highways.”
“We are appealing to Government to as a matter of urgency identify the families of the perished victims and duly support such families to recover from their loses.”
The Members of Parliament however later observed a minute silence for the victims of the accident in today’s [Tuesday] sitting.
Kintampo Accident: Ban night travel for commercial vehicles
A former Roads and Highways Minister, Inusah Fusieni, has called for a ban on nighttime travel by commercial passenger vehicles in the wake of the tragic bus accident on the Techiman-Kintampo road that claimed over 60 lives last Friday.
“We should take a bold courageous decision to ban night travel of passenger vehicles,” the former minister argued to Citi News.
Mr. Fuseini believes such a move will greatly reduce road accidents in the country.
He also insisted that there was enough proof that long distant travels in the night contributed greatly to the road accidents.
Renewed road safety concern after the accident has sparked a number of proposals including calls for dualization of all highways, installation of speed inhibitors to prevent vehicles from running beyond a certain speed level and use of two drivers during travels of over four hours long.
In the accident on the Techiman-Kintampo road, two buses collided between 1:40 and 2 am.
The crash involved a VVIP Kia bus travelling from Garu in the Upper East Region to Kumasi and a Grandbird bus travelling from Accra to Bolgantaga.
A mass burial was held for 39 of the people who died because they were burnt beyond recognition.