Alhaji Samba fingered in ‘illegal’ siting of fuel station in Tamale

Residents of Kanvili Residential Area and Saatingli, both in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern region have vehemently kicked against the siting of a fuel station in the area, citing safety concerns.

According to the aggrieved residents, the project which is sited in close proximity to houses and other public places, poses grave danger to the lives and property of the people.

At a press conference to reecho their displeasure in the siting of the fuel station, the residents accuse the owner of the project of engaging in an illegality since the said plot, which was originally designated for a residential facility, has not been re-zoned for the purpose of siting a fuel station.

“The plot has not been re-zoned for any other purpose. Any re-zoning follows procedures which we are aware would have been rejected as it is an incompatible use in relation to the adjoining residential developments,” Timothy Kipo, a resident who addressed the press explained.

According to the residents, one Alhaji Samba is rumoured to be the brain behind the “illegal” facility.

“We do not know who is carrying out this illegal activity, however many people are saying it is one Alhaji Samba. We do not want to believe it is the newly elected Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is the current ruling party. If it is the Regional Chairman of NPP, then it is unfortunate because this is tantamount to abuse of office and disregard for human life.

“We expect that as a leader, he (Regional Chairman of NPP) should lead a crusade against all forms of illegal activities in the region. We expect him to help, encourage and support the relevant authorities to stop any illegal activities, such as this, in the region. On the other hand, if he (Regional Chairman of NPP) is not the developer, we wish to call on him as a leader, to assist us stop this illegal activity,” Mr Kipo lamented.

The residents say several petitions sent to relevant authorities and institutions have not yielded any results.

According to them, they petitioned the Northern regional Minister, the Sagnarigu Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), the Regional and National Directors of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Municipal Town and Country Planning Department, the Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), the Northern Regional Director of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), Ghana National Fire Service and traditional authorities.

Recounting previous fuel explosions in the country, the angry residents say similar accident may occur if the fuel station is constructed at the current location.

“Ghanaians will recall the recent disasters caused by accidents related to the operations of fuel/gas stations in our cities/towns leading to the loss of lives and property. It therefore goes without saying that the fuel filling station will pose great danger if it is sited on the said plot, as it is too close to residential houses and several public places,” the statement added.

They appealed to authorities and institutions concerned to act to halt the construction of the fuel station in the area.

By: Yahaya Masahudu, radiotamale.com/ymashud2010@hotmail.com

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