Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Kweku Baako Jnr says the “callous” demolition exercise that has left thousands of residents of Old Fadama completely displaced is shameful.
According to him, the demolition carried out by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly; hopeless search for a new place to relocate the displaced residents are signposts of an institutionalised confusion.
He was particularly disappointed with the demolition because he argued the issue about Old Fadama had moved from a demolition exercise to one of resettlement and a slum upgrading facility.
According to him, government of Ghana had secured international funding to upgrade the slum and wondered why the AMA taskforce would take delight in demolishing houses of the residents.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday.
Exactly a week ago thousands of residents living in squalor at the biggest slum site in Ghana- which has been named Sodom and Gomorrah had their homes destroyed by the AMA taskforce.
The AMA boss Alfred Oko Vanderpuije claimed the demolition was in response to the June 3 flood and fire disasters which claimed over 150 lives.
The demolition which was originally supposed to affect occupants 100 meters away from the Odaw river went beyond the agreed demarcation provoking the residents into anger.
The affected residents took over the streets of Accra Monday in a violent protests that led to many cars being vandalised and many arrests made.
The protests did not bring an end to the demolition. On Tuesday, the AMA task force returned to the site to continue the unfinished business.
Almost all the houses at the slum were demolished, an act that excited the Mayor of Accra Alfred Oko Vanderpuije.
He told Joy News’ Kwakye Afreh Nuamah the demolition was the greatest and prudent decision ever taken in the history of the country after independence.
The demolition left thousands of people, young and old, pregnant and lactating mothers at the mercy of the weather.
But Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme Kweku Baako Jnr said the demolition was a knee jerk reaction to the June 3 flood and fire disaster.
He was shocked that after the AMA had left the residents displaced, government has now gone town-shopping for a place to relocate the residents.
Both the Pokuase and Adzen Kotoku areas earmarked to temporarily host the affected residents have some issues to deal with it first.
At Pokuase there is a strong battle by two state institutions- the government and the Centre for Scientific Research institute over who owns the land and what the land can be used for.
Kweku Baako Jnr said the entire demolition exercise and the search for relocation is “pathetic, an indictment and an institutionalised ineptitude.”
Member of Parliament for Tamale Central who was on the show said under no circumstance should the demolition take place without prior notice to the residents.
While agreeing that the place was muddy he said demolition must be done with a human face that will give dignity to the people.
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