Akufo-Addo cries for Adenta crushed girl; work resumes on footbridges
President Akufo-Addo has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the West African Secondary School (WASS) student, who was killed by a speeding taxi on the N4 Highway at Adenta on Thursday.
The death of the female student, who attempted to cross the road after school, sparked violent protests by residents along the Madina-Adenta stretch of the highway that links Aburi to Accra.
Residents, mainly youth, set fire to old car tyres on Thursday, November 8, 2018, to block the road to express their anger over the death of the student.
She was believed to be the 195th person to be killed on the highway in such painful manner apparently due to the absence of footbridges for pedestrians.
Owing to the protests, government deployed police to the area and promised to commence work on six uncompleted footbridges next week.
Residents are planning a massive demonstration against the authorities, particularly the Roads and Highway Minister on Monday for their nonchalant attitude.
President Akufo-Addo, who is saddened by the tragic incident, in a statement, said “our nation has suffered an unnecessary loss. The scenes that played out in its aftermath are regrettable, and should not happen again.”
According to the President, “The Ministry of Roads and Highways is ensuring that work begins on the completion of these bridges in the course of the coming week, and has put together a comprehensive plan to address systematically all these infrastructural problems, which are legacies of a past decade of neglect.”
He added that “I would urge drivers and pedestrians to obey and respect the laws on our roads. All of us- government and the citizenry- have a collective responsibility to safeguard and preserve life. My condolences, once again, to the family.”
Police responded to the protest by firing live bullets into the crowd.
A stray bullet hit a student, who was driving with his mother.
When police arrived to restore calm on Thursday, there were reports that some protesters hurled stones at them.
Calm was eventually restored and the road was opened to traffic at about 7 pm amid complaints of police brutality and excessive force.
The headmaster of WASS said six students had so far been knocked down by vehicles on the Madina-Adenta Highway this academic year.
Edison Osei Gyamera said Thursday afternoon’s incident had so far been the only fatal one.
He told Joy FM that mates of the female student had invited her to join them on campus to study.
But the student, who was in her early 20s, told her mates that she can only travel to the school when her mother who had gone out returns home.
At about 3 pm on Thursday, she set out to meet them but she met her untimely death.
Commenting on the purported scuffle between students of the school and police at the entrance of the school, Mr Osei Gyamera explained that the students did not incite the police.
According to him, a few of the final-year students who had come to check their WASSCE registration rushed to the scene because “they were a bit agitated when they saw what was happening.”
The headmaster said because the deceased student was a Muslim, residents in the mostly Muslim community nearby got angry when they heard of another incident involving one of their own.
“The Muslim community just came out in their numbers and started burning the car tyres. It was not the students who started it but the enraged Muslim community around,” he disclosed.