Murders disguised as accidents

The N1 highway has indeed come to ease the hitherto bumper to bumper traffic along the Lapaz – Mallam road. But so has it also painfully claimed many lives to “compensate” for easing traffic.

The other night, a woman, most likely, a mother, a breadwinner – perhaps, attempts to cross to the other side. Many people do not use the overhead footbridges – those bridges are few and too far apart. People scale the median as a shorter means of crossing the N1 Highway.

Yes the N1 is a Highway that passes through one of the busiest suburbs of the capital. Bam! A vehicle runs into the woman. She lies lifeless. Now, a family is bereaved.

What if the footbridges were a bit more user friendly? What if people were a lot more law abiding? What if those streets lights on the N1 Highway were functional? What if no one has to ever ask “what if?” What if, we were a bit more sensible?

What if…?

This isn’t an accident. It is murder!

As I drive towards Nkawkaw, at the main junction separating the Accra-Kumasi Highway from the Nkawkaw town, a sea of traders are busily chasing cars on foot to sell bread. How and when did Nkawkaw become the bread capital? By the way, who even introduced that rule that persons traveling by road must buy bread on the way?

The bread sellers besiege the road, unmindful of the fact that this is a Highway. A saloon car with what appears to be the engine of an airplane zooms past, and misses one of the sellers by the thickness of a thread. She is lucky. But she is also traumatised. Has she been killed, it would have been both a murder and suicide. Yes, both.

Do you know that “chofi” which was banned several years ago, is still available in large quantities at Nsawam? Yes, “chofi”. “Chofi” is a killer and the sellers are the agents.

I am now at Highway chop bar on the Kumasi -Techiman Highway. I am gulping down a bowl of fufu and light soup accompanied by the flesh of a bearded goat. A man and his female companion (my gossip instincts tell me it isn’t his wife) walk into the chop bar. They are holding hands and doing excessive public display of affection. (It’s none of my business)

The man orders the waiter to bring him a bottle of the usual. It’s alcohol!!!

He will sit in his car and drive off after swallowing the brain destabilisation liquid. There he goes, putting himself, his companion and other road users at risk. If he kills anyone, it shouldn’t be considered as an accident. It is murder! Yes, murder.

The sun has now gone down and I am on the Tamale-Kintampo highway. But for the several speed ramps, this would have been one of the best roads to drive on after the Tema Motorway.

It’s dark and the harmattan haze makes it even more difficult for drivers to see clearly. Tipper trucks, tricycles and tractors use this road often. Unfortunately, many of the aforementioned move at night, having no headlights, no tail lights and no warning reflectors.

Last year, many people died right here after they drove their vehicles into these death traps disguised as vehicles. An aspiring member of Parliament could not get to even vote for himself because he too was “murdered”. It was not an accident.

I drive behind a tipper truck which has no reflectors. It drives past a police check point and no one blinks. The gossip in me asks me to do some gossip as I got closer to one of the policemen at the check point. “Officer that vehicles is moving without any lights or reflectors ” I said in the politest of tones. He replies “if I arrest him now, a call will come that we should release him”.

The “murderers” in Ghana are many. The accidents are few.

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