Opinion

Attention: Commissioner of MTTU, DVLA – Vehicle number GS 5621-18 at Pokuase [Article]

About 1:30 in the afternoon of Friday the 1st of March 2024, I boarded a trotro at Pokuase bound for Mayera and Adusa Quarters. When the vehicle drove past Pokuase Police Station, it slowed down at the speed ramp before the Methodist Church.

As the trotro started accelerating from the speed ramp, the vehicle exhumes were coming right inside the vehicle. It was so bad that some of us (passengers) started complaining. Those of us who are lettered and are somehow aware of the dangers of inhaling such fumes into our organs started complaining bitterly.

Sadly, the driver and his mate cared less about our complaints. As the vehicle began descending from the Methodist Church towards Djanma with little or no acceleration, the fumes or smoke that came inside the vehicle gradually evaporated. As we passed Djanma bridge towards Mayera Junction, and as the driver started accelerating again, the vehicle exhumes (smoke) filled inside the vehicle again.

As the vehicle turned right at Mayera Junction, the exhumes in the vehicle were so bad that a lady passenger in the back seat started shouting to the driver to stop for her to get out of the vehicle. I also started telling the driver to stop. The driver never bothered and kept on driving

Driver, stop and let me out! Driver stop!! Driver stop!!! All to no avail.

Some of us had to cover our noses with handkerchiefs or whatever was available. It wasn’t until we got to the fuel station at Afiaman that a passenger wanted to alight at her destination. That was when the driver finally stopped.

The lady at the back seat who desperately wanted to get off finally got the chance to get out of the “smokey.” As she alighted, she asked the mate to refund her fare so she could board another vehicle. I also alighted and demanded same.

The driver and mate refused. The mate sat back in the vehicle so the driver could drive away. I blocked the mate from being able to close the door. As I was trying to prevent the mate from being able to close the door, the driver stepped on the accelerator pedal.

I had a slight hit on my left hand and quickly moved back to avoid being hurt. With the help of the other lady passenger, we took note of the trotro’s registration number as GS 5621-18. Right then, I saw another trotro coming from the opposite direction. I crossed the road and boarded that trotro back to Pokuase. I went to the Police Station to lodge a complaint.

As I walked to the counter to speak to the officer at the reception, I was holding a change of GH¢2 coins in my hand. The officer at the counter asked me if I was bringing him money. I said no, it’s only coins. Then he said: “I thought you were bringing me money.”

After narrating the incident, the officer asked me if I was sure that the vehicle would be coming back to Pokuase. I was then told to wait for the Inspector to come, so I could lodge a complaint. I was really feeling hungry for food at this point. It

was as if I hadn’t eaten for days. In spite of the hunger, I was desperate to inform law enforcement about the carelessness I had encountered on the road.

I waited for about 30 minutes to be able to speak with the Inspector. Whilst waiting, I kept looking at the officer at the counter with his name badge. Police – Money! Police – Money!! Police – Money!!!

I finally got to speak with the Inspector. I began by telling the Inspector that I felt like giving up on what I had come to do. After narrating the incident to the Inspector, he directed me to the MTTU section

I met Inspector Linda at the MTTU and narrated the incident to her. Inspector Linda told me that there was nothing the Police could do, unless I wanted to lodge a complaint for an assault, or a form to go to hospital. Inspector Linda also said that it is a matter for the DVLA.

Inspector Linda then said if I wanted my transport fare back, they could retrieve it for me. I then asked Inspector Linda:n”What do I need the GH¢4 for?”

But for evidence’s sake, I decided that they should retrieve my fare for me. Inspector Linda then asked for the vehicle’s registration number and my contact phone number with the promise that I would hear from her. As I was with Inspector Linda, I saw the vehicle passing. I told Inspector Linda that there was the vehicle.

The response from the Pokuase Police Station and the MTTU over the matter saddened me deeply. What saddened me the more was the advice Inspector Linda offered me: “Take note of the vehicle, so that you don’t board it again.

Inspector Linda, if I may ask, what about the masses who cannot take note of the vehicle, or even unaware of the health implications of inhaling such toxic fumes directly at such close range?

And to go to a Police Station and be welcomed or greeted with the courtesies:

“Are you bringing me money? I thought you were bringing me money.”

Right then, I felt like aborting the mission and just go my way. But again, I was being weighed down heavily for the sake of the greater good of our dear society. How long would that vehicle continue putting the health of poor commuters at risk without a care in the world? I left Pokuase Police Station with disappointment written all over my face.

About an hour later, I sent my articles to Inspector Linda as a Columnist at Ghanaweb and ModernGhana. Inspector Linda then sent me a message: “Okay. Please send the particulars again, I mean the vehicle number okay.”

When I read Inspector Linda’s message asking me to re-send her the very details I had given her barely an hour before, I was shocked. I had many questions on my mind. Why would Inspector Linda be asking me to re-send her the very information I gave her just an hour earlier? Your guess is as good as mine.

To express my disappointment to Inspector Linda, my response to her was:

Hmmm! Madam, send the particulars again? Madam, is there hope for this country?

IGP Dr. Dampare, has the Ghana Police Service any integrity if its welcome address or salutation is “MONEY”? And unknowingly, to someone who had experienced some ordeal and wanted to bring it to the attention of the Police?

DVLA, are the poor safe in some of the trotros that have passed roadworthy tests? The trotros from Madina station to St. Peters especially.

And so the lawlessness and madness on the road and in our society continue unabated because the Police are out there for those with power and MONEY

Is MONEY the acronym or synonym for the Ghana Police Service?

Sincerely,

Nyame bekyere Republic.

Maxwell Maundy,

Author/Writer

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