There was pandemonium at the lorry station of Breman Asikuma , the district capital of Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa in the Central Region, when some residents, mostly youth and officials of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) clashed.
The youth stormed the district Fire Service office at the Asikuma Lorry Station, to prevent a team of firemen from Accra from taking away the only fire tender in the entire district.
The angry residents resisted the release of the fire tender because they claimed that was the only fire tender serving the whole district and will not allow it to be taken away.
This follows an alleged directive from the national headquarters, through its regional command in Cape Coast, to release the only tender for use in Accra.
The angry youth burnt car tyres to register their protest. They also dug holes around the tender and deflated the tyres to make it unmovable.
Personnel at the district office of the GNFS refused to comment on the development.
It took the intervention of the district police command to calm tempers but the tender was not allowed to be taken away.
The District Chief Executive, Isaac Odoom, in an interview with Onua News on Thursday, February 4, gave an assurance the tender will not be taken away if no alternatives have been provided.
Explaining what transpired earlier which led to the chaos and confusion, Mr. Odoom said in Fante that “Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa is an old district. We had a fire tender and I came to meet it”.
He said “we had ambulance service too. I came to meet one ambulance but they came for it without my knowledge, but luckily for us, we got one from the government’s one constituency-one ambulance policy”.
Mr. Odoom added that “they came for the ambulance and sent it to Winneba because they claim it has a high level of accidents but we were fortunate to have the ambulance from this government”.
On the fire tender, the DCE said “in early part of 2018, the tender was taken away and it did not come again. So the officers were there doing nothing”.
Fire cases in the District
The DCE told Onua News hosts, Nana Yaw Opare and Kwame Asante that “fire outbreaks are rampant because it’s a farming community. It’s a cocoa growing area and fire is rampant. Just three weeks ago, a dormitory in Breman Asikuma Senior High got burnt and the small fire tender could not fight the fire because it was faulty”.
He said the district fire commander had a little to say anytime there is an order for the tender to be taken away because he works with instructions.
“The fire commander is a young and hardworking man so we cannot blame him, but we don’t know if someone is sabotaging us at the national level and that is why they always fall on us”.
The DCE alluded to the consistent taking away of their government property to the fact that, maintenance culture in the District, as far as government property are concerned, are very high.
“Maintenance culture is very key. All the public property is maintained so they see all our property in good shape and always fall on us”.
Actions of the youth
Condemning the youth over their volatile actions, the DCE said “we will not entertain the actions of the youth but we shall tell them to leave everything to the authorities to handle”
“There is no way we shall allow the tender to be taken away when we don’t have an alternative. We will not allow it and that assurance has been given and we urge the youth to be calm”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana