kantamanto_fire

The Kantamanto market land is still an issue and would be so for many months to come. With the Ghana Railway Development Authority laying bare its plan to develop the place into a modern terminal, the plans announced by the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) sound like a kind of joke full of weirdness given the assortment of claims over the land in question.

If there is anything like confusion among government agencies over a piece of public land, this is a typical example and it is a sad reflection of how governance has been reduced in the country today.

The traditional owners of the land have also jumped into the fray demanding a renewal of the deal, which led to the ceding of the land to government.

The whole episode gives the subject a non-serious posture. In the face of the confusion and somewhat bad faith, the victims of the controversial fire stand helpless not knowing what to believe.

A certain meeting is said to have been planned for next week by the fire victims and government agents but we wonder whether there is any iota of sincerity in such engagements when there is confusion about the legal status of the land in question.

Did the AMA chief not understand what was at stake when he made his controversial announcement about a so-called modern market? He surely did not know that with the rule of law prevailing in the country today such undertakings call for adequate research before the campaign trail-rating announcement he spewed soon after the inferno.

From all indications, the AMA has no authority talking about developing the controversial land into a modern market, the place being the property of another government agency.

According to the Transport Minister, Gifty Attivor, the acquisition of the property dates back to 1901.

Hearing her yesterday even as she applied diplomacy, lest she sounded bellicose, it was not difficult to deduce that the Kantamanto land will remain in the doldrums for a long time to come.

The primary responsibility of every government is to provide for the needs of its people. The victims of Kantamanto could easily say they have been let down by their own government given their helplessness in the wake of what befell them.

Having suffered the rubbing of salt into the injury inflicted upon them after the blaze which reduced their fortunes to ashes recently, they are being subjected to confused remarks by various state agencies.

In this traumatic state of theirs, the last thing the victims of the Kantamanto fire should countenance is outright mendacity from government officials, who without doubt, are confused about what to do.

Telling the victims the truth at this stage would be more beneficial to them than keeping them in perpetual limbo.

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