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General News of Saturday, 3 August 2019


Ablekuma North Municipal embarks on demolition exercise

The Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly on Friday embarked on a demolition exercise at Odorkor Post Office area of Accra to unauthorized structures proper planning.

The exercise, which was organised together with the Odorkor Divisional Police Command was carried out between 0100 hours and 0700 hours; ACP Samuel Alordey, Divisional Commander for the Odorkor Command told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

He explained that the exercise was to get rid of unauthorized structures and drug peddlers, thieves, prostitutes and other miscreants.

He said the Division was well informed of how the place was turned into a den of thieves and a hub for stolen goods, and prostitutes, Indian hemp peddlers and smokers and they also received several reports of theft cases and dispatched Patrol teams to that area on several occasions.

He said the Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly was also aware of their activities and therefore decided to rid them.

Mr Lucky Gati, who is a Graphic Designer with a shop located in the area told the GNA at the scene that about a week ago, a notice bearing “REMOVE” was pasted on their walls. The information was inadequate; “we were not given details as to when we were to leave until this surprise attack on us”.

He added that the team on Thursday, August 1, prompted them of the notice, which they unsuccessfully pleaded for an extension.

Mr Gati who is also a member of a Cultural Dance group in the area said as at around 0400 hours, he received a call concerning the ongoing exercise so he rushed to the place to confirm the news.

He said he found his container, which he used to run a wholesale business for drinks and mineral water destroyed adding that, they were not allowed to take their things out to a safe place.

“We have informed the Chiefs and land owners and some of them have come to look at the situation. They have promised to sort us out, but even as I wait, when and how would I be able to raise money to set up another business?

“What I know is that anytime a demolition exercise is about to happen, the citizens are well informed as to when the exercise will happen and aside that, some funds are given to them as compensation for the destruction of their belongings and abode so that they can relocate,” he added.

Madam Patricia Lamptey, another affected victim, was of the view that they should have been given lots of time to work towards their relocation and that, the notice they received did not contain any details as to when they were to move from the place.

She expressed disappointment at the mode in which the demolition took place, adding that organising a demolition at dawn was an infringement on people’s privacy.

“What they did was very bad because most people may not be around by then. Some of us have even traveled to attend funerals and have been called to return. Two of my structures have been destroyed—my house and a shop. We have lost lots of other items too,” she added.

Madam Lamptey said they will dialogue with the Municipal and also engage the Chiefs and land owners who leased the lands to them.

“We are very surprised that since this exercise began, none of the Chiefs has come up to say or do anything in our favour. We are very disappointed in them,” she added.

GNA observed during a tour of the affected area that the exercise covered the entire area around the Odorkor Post Office; pedestrian walkway. Shops, wooden structures, bars and ghettos have all been razed down.

Scores of affected individuals were seen combing through debris to salvage their property while others also gathered to observe.