Shop owners and squatters whose illegal structures were pulled down on Thursday at the Circle Railway area close to the VIP Bus Terminal have described the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) boss, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, as a confused person.
Speaking to Daily Guide after Thursday’s exercise organised by AMA in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, the affected persons lamented that even though the AMA boss had personally gone there to serve them official notice prior to the demolition exercise, the demolition took place before the scheduled date.
A shop owner, Kwesi Addo, who claimed he had his store pulled down and items completely destroyed during the exercise, told this paper that the AMA boss gave them three days to vacate their residence but to their shock, the destruction happened a day earlier than announced.
The demolition exercise, which started about 6:15am Thursday, was carried out by the police who said the directive was from the Accra Mayor. They pulled down about 1,000 structures.
All structures under the high tension cable were pulled down. These included a water reservoir for operating a washing bay, pubic bathhouses and a cattle ranch among others.
Personnel embarking on the demolition exercise however did not have it easy as occupants in the area started throwing stones and hooting at them.
The residents engaged the police in a shootout, and also threw stones at them.Some residents even rained insults at them as one of them allegedly set fire in one of the wooden structures to prevent the demolition exercise from progressing.
To disperse the crowd, the police had to throw tear gas and pepper spray at them.
But for the timely intervention of the Fire Service personnel who doused the fire, a lot more structures would have been reduced to ashes.The police fired warning shots and made a number of arrests in connection with the fire.
The Accra Mayor, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije and the Regional Minister, Nii Amarh Ashitey, were both present at the site and inspected the demolition exercise.
The Accra Mayor congratulated the Fire Service for a job well done and reiterated that his outfit would continue to demolish unauthorized structures in the metropolis.
He however condemned the action of the resident who started the fire.
Mr Vanderpuije reiterated that the exercise was aimed at paving way for excavators to desilt the drains to enhance the free flow of water and prevent flooding.The regional minister, on his part gave the assurance that NADMO would be contacted to cater for those who were affected during the demolition.
Three people who were suspected to be part of a stone-throwing mob had been arrested. A number of people were alleged to have been arrested on Wednesday for attacking the police and two for setting fire.
Source: Stella Danso Addai
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|