A local government expert has said the brute force unleashed on traders and slum dwellers by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) under the out-gone National Democratic Congress (NDC) was a major factor in the party’s defeat last year.
According to Issaka Amon Kotei there is no doubt that AMA under the leadership of Alfred Oko Vanderpuije who is the current NDC MP for Ablekuma South made the Mahama-led NDC administration unpopular among the electorate especially those in the central business district of Accra.
He told Accra FM in Accra yesterday that Vanderpuije allegedly ignored advice by development planners and local government experts to adopt what he called “a more acceptable and sustainable approach towards solving the issue of people selling on the streets as well as shantytown residents.”
“The crude tactics employed to drive traders off the streets and eject slum dwellers incurred the wrath of the people and others who depended on them for survival, resulting in the massive defeat of the NDC during the general election.”
Commenting on the re-emergence of hawkers on pavements in violation of by-laws prohibiting selling on streets and how to solve the protracted problem, Mr. Kotei said, “There is no political direction in the districts at the moment because there are no district chief executives or MCEs and so everybody is doing what he or she likes.”
He said “when the MCEs take office, I am sure they will not allow anybody to sell on the streets simply because their government is in power; it will not happen. When that happens, it will mean the MCE will be the most useless metropolitan chief executive in the country, because that is not acceptable.”
“On a long-term basis we need to plan how best we can resolve people selling on the streets.”
Meanwhile, the incoming Metropolitan Chief Executive Nii Adjei Sowah is promising to vigorously pursue a better waste management strategy to minimize floods in the capital.
He said he was considering recycling the waste system by deploying modern technology to deal with the massive waste generated on a daily basis.
Nii Sowah expressed optimism on Joy FM that he would be able to solve the problems but admitted he would need the support of every resident to make that happen.
By William Yaw Owusu