General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
New Patriotic Party Parliamentary Candidate for the Lawra Constituency, Anthony Karbo, has descended heavily on some persons in the incumbent National Democratic Congress, NDC, for alleging that the opposition party instigated the rioting by displaced residents of Old Fadama, otherwise known as Sodom and Gomorrah.
The former NPP National Youth Organizer who was visibly incensed by the accusation by NDC MP for North Dayi, George Loh, on TV3’s New Day programme, said it was backward-thinking for the NDC to come to such a conclusion.
Hundreds of displaced Old Fadama residents clashed with police yesterday as they illegally embarked on a demonstration to the State House demanding compensation and temporary shelter for their demolished structures.
Authorities of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly say the slum, which is one of Africa’s largest and houses over 300,000 people mostly from northern Ghana, could not be allowed to exist particularly in the wake of marauding floods largely blamed on structures on waterways.
But speaking on TV3’s New Day on Tuesday, NDC MP for North Dayi, George Loh, said they have evidence to prove that the opposition NPP instigated the demonstration.
In his view, there had been widespread consultation with the residents before the demolition exercise took place over the weekend.
He questioned why the residents would wait to demonstrate on Monday after a demolition had been carried out over the weekend if not for the NPP’s instigation.
“It takes a lot of guts and commitment to take such a crucial decision to clear Sodom and Gomorrah. It has been on drawing board for many governments and nobody had the courage to do it. Looking at the disaster that occurred on the 3rd of June, anyone who has a modicum of emotion will come to the firm conclusion that never again can we allow those things to happen to us. And we know that Sodom and Gomorrah and many other factors contributed to the events of that day. So this is a first time so I congratulate government particularly the AMA for going out there to do this”.
“My information is that; they were engaged and talked to over several weeks. They were given the deadlines but what happened was that they didn’t believe it would happen. So when it happened they were in doubt. But for the riot of yesterday; was not a riot. It was an orchestrated and organized activity. We believe that the opposition organized this. The demolition was done on Saturday and the whole of Sunday was there so why a demonstration on Monday” he queried?
When questioned by the host Nana Aba Anamoah to prove his allegations, he said ” we have f pictures of persons we know who do not live in Sodom and Gomorrah who are known members of the NPP but were in the demonstration. We have the pictures to be given to the police as the days go by. Look at the placards they had. It was organized and not a spontaneous action. If you don’t live there and your property has not been demolished what business do you have to demonstrate there. These were people who were organized and merged to do what they did. This is not a spin; the facts are there and we will give those pictures to the police” he noted.
But Mr. Anthony Karbo vehemently disagreed with the MP and said the allegation smacked of backward-thinking.
“I think the MP is embarrassing himself this morning. It is completely risible for anybody to think that an opposition party like the NPP which will certainly be the next government in 2017, will engage in such shenanigans. This is completely backward and still thinking; don’t forget that they even blamed the opposition for the market fires but could not provide a single evidence to support their claim and for me to hear people in government to say that the opposition will plan such a spontaneous riot is baffling. When the people of Ashaiman went on went on riot about bad roads was the opposition behind it? Their road is still under construction. This government has an attitude of blaming everything on the opposition even after seven years in government and you ask yourself whether they came to power because of the NPP or to solve the problems Ghanaians are facing. I heard this yesterday from another MP and I was shocked to the bone and I am surprised that our brother is also sitting on TV saying the NPP was behind this violent behavior that engulfed the city yesterday”.
Mr. Karbo said the residents may have taken the action because the NDC administration made political gains out of them in the past.
“These are the very people President Mahama put together in 2012 and registered them and promised to provide them with skills training at the Trade Fair Center. When an opposition leader promised temporary accommodation for them so that we can plan a proper resettlement they said it was the most insulting promise any politician could ever make. They are in power and they claim SADA will come and take care of this people; what has happened to SADA? So when you have people in government who have been so disappointing and shambolic in the management of state resources blaming civil society organizations and everyone for their problems then it’s very sad”.
“Under President Kufuor, Adjinkotoku was located for resettlement but this government came in and instead of them to finish the building of the site and the relocation, because of political expediency, members of the NDC government, the Deputy Attorney General today was the lawyer for these same residents when Kufuor attempted to move them from that site. They went to court and won a case and they used it for political campaign. Today he is deputy AG; what is he saying about this? And this knee-jerk reaction is an opportunity provided by the floods for them to say that we are going to have to clear you off the site. But if you are doing so, give the people enough notice and information”.
The allegation was first made by Deputy of Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lante Vanderpuye.
He directly accused the NPP’s newly elected Odododiodio Parliamentary Candidate, Nii Lantey Bannerman, of supplying the demonstrators with party T-shirts and placards and instigated them to hit the streets as an attempt to win their sympathy.