One Demolition Too Many

Demolitions are far from over in the Greater Accra Region. They have made disturbing headlines in the past few weeks, the most prominent being the Adjei Kojo debacle which continues to resonate across important political and social circles.

The exercise has unleashed on the country her first set of internally-displaced persons whose plight remains uncertain, especially after soldiers removed the shelter placed over them by personnel of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

The Tema Development Corporation (TDC), it would seem, is receiving more sympathy from the state than the victims of the demolition.

Nmai Dzorn was the next point to taste the bouts of demolition which took place last week leaving in its trail a heartbreaking spectacle of rubbles and anguish.

A certain Hamdaweh Sibdoo Abdulai, regardless of his land title for a piece of land at Nmai Dzorn, lost it during the recent inexplicable demolition which hit the area.

John Teye was yesterday the latest to be visited by the demolition craze and we are told other areas have been penciled for similar exercises.

While court orders have been dangled in the face of victims, in others we are unable to tell whether the actions are backed by law, given the stealth underpinning the action, the timing and the masked men undertaking the demolition.

Be it as it may, the demolition exercises now becoming features of the nation’s capital are triggering questions about whether government should not find an alternative way of dealing with the subject since many areas of Accra, especially the new layouts, are mired in one form of challenge or the other.

In most of the cases, the problems that have arisen are triggered by misunderstandings between chiefs, state agencies and innocent purchasers, some of them poor public servants who suffer unduly as a result of the conflicts.

The human miseries which have followed in the wake of the demolitions do not present government in good light, a situation which we entreat those in charge to find a way of managing humanely.

The law enforcement agency, the Ghana Police Service, has the mandate to execute court orders but a number of instances have played out which point at a shortcoming which needs amelioration.

We think it would be proper security management if local police commanders are kept posted about demolitions.

Situations whereby district commanders are not apprised about such developments are both embarrassing to such commanders and above all anomalous.

As pointed out earlier, the situations which lead to the eventual demolition of structures, as being played out in Accra, must be identified and tackled before they mature into the monsters we have had to live with in the past few weeks.

The state agencies in charge of the various processes preceding land ownership must be given fresh directives to expedite action on the applications submitted.

It is unacceptable that applicants are asked to proceed with construction only to face imminent demolition in due course.

Something is just not right, the correction of which lies on the bosom of the state.

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