The Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mohammed Samba has ignored all warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the residents of Sakasaka over he and his cronies’ illegal construction of fuel filling stations at two different residential areas in the Northern Regional capital.
Mr Samba’s company is building one right beside Islamic SHS and directly opposite a mosque while sharing boundaries with two homes as well at the junction.
Again, Excel Oil, whose front is an alleged crony of Mr Samba is building another illegal fuel station along the Tamale-Bolgatanga Road, right opposite Sakasaka the Police Station. The most information. This controversial businessman and politician also own another fuel outlet at Lamashegu in Tamale, not too far from the industrial area.
Together, they have refused to heed to NPA directive to halt the construction and have rather walled the facility to prevent access to EPA and NPA inspectors who are currently alarmed at the pace of work as Mr Samba’s contractors work day and night.
Mr Samba and his Excel Oil accomplices have allegedly threatened to use their political and money influence in power to deal with any NPA official who crosses their path over the illegal construction works which poses a threat to life and property in the residential area it is sighted.
It is only in the Northern Region that illegal construction works are ongoing at some of the petrol stations despite first, an earlier presidential fiat ordering the temporary cessation of the construction of facilities intended for use as gas or petrol/diesel retail outlets and second, the strict enforcement of the law on siting fuel stations at a residential area.
The supervisors have said they were not aware of any NPA directive to stop work, and its management maintained that all requirements for the construction had been met. They said they have been ordered to prevent all entry to the facility as they work day and night.
While Mr Samba and his accomplices did not respond to MyNewsGh.com’s calls, residents who spoke to MyNewsGh.com bemoaned how they feel threatened by the illegal fuel filling station.
One resident said he thought the government “should come out with strict rules governing the siting of filling stations and enforce the law. Samba is not above the law. He must be called to order. We must not wait for something to happen before.”
Following the Atomic Gas Explosion that killed at least 7 people and injured 132 in Accra, and a circle GOIL disaster that claimed over 150 lives, Government through the NPA decided to fully enforce the law on siting of petroleum filling stations.
Also, after a crucial cabinet meeting after the Atomic Gas explosion, the government announced a number of directives, about ten of them, geared towards sanitizing the fuel distribution and retail sector, to improve safety and save more lives. Most of these directives were flouted by politician-businessmen, which currently includes the Northern Regional Chairman of the ruling NPP, Mohammed Samba.