Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuye has incurred the wrath of NDC executives in the Odododiodio who say his non-negotiable stance on demolishing illegal structures at Accra’s biggest slum will send the governing party into opposition.
Angry executives, screamed, hurled insults and later shed tears after a meeting at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) office Tuesday morning ended inconclusively.
The NDC executives walked out of the meeting which was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Trade Nii Lante Vanderpuye, the Deputy regional minister, some NADMO officials and the Mayor.
The party men say the Mayor is “wicked” and has no “human feeling” for the affected residents.
The AMA has since Saturday, been collapsing illegal structures at the Old Fadama slum popularly called Sodom and Gomorrah. The affected residents on Monday embarked on a violent demonstration in protest over the demolitions. They assaulted some police personel and journalists.
They stormed the streets in Accra and without resistance, burnt tires, damaged some cars including police vehicles. They also marched to the State House to vandalise some properties
The Police quelled the demonstration later in the afternoon.
The action of the Monday mob did not discourage the Tuesday take over of the slums by the AMA. Bull dozers working under heavy security, announced the end of Accra’ largest slum with another round of demolition.
The Deputy Minister who is also the MP for Odododiodio says the AMA went beyond the demarcation it agreed with the residents for Saturday’s demolition.
He explained prior to the demolition, the AMA met with the residents during which it was agreed that only structures 50 meters away from the Odaw River would be demolished.
However on the day of the demolition, houses as far as 300 meters away from the river were all demolished.
This got the residents angry. The NDC constituency executives are also angry with the demolitions, even if it was for political reasons. The executives met with the Mayor on Tuesday to explore the best way to go about the situation.
Nii Lante Vanderpuye was present at the meeting which apparently ended abruptly with the NDC executives storming out.
Some shouted “Oko, I want to die. We are going to line up our children so the tractor will pass over them.”
Demolitions are politically tricky decisions for all government since 1992. Many Mayors in Accra have not had the courage to demolish structures illegaly sited and those who had, were forced to abort such actions due to the obvious political repurcussion.
The AMA is determined to evict the slum dwellers after about 152 people perished during a flood and fire disaster on June 3.
The victims are nontheless demanding compensation and proper re-settlement.
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