Relocation of Agbogbloshie market remains priority – AMA boss

The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly says the relocation of the Agbogbloshie market from its present location in the heart of Accra remains a priority.

Mohammed Sowah said the arrangement will not affect Old Fadama residents who have been in the area before the market opened.

He told Dzifa Bampoh on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday, his predecessors were unable to implement the project because of some challenges with the resettlement land.

Related Article: Konkombas, Dagombas at Agbogbloshie clash; 2 dead

“There were ownership problems and there is the need for us to revisit the land and work with the chiefs there to deal with it,” he said.

Mr Sowah’s comments come on the heels of bloody clashes between some residents of Agbogbloshie on Tuesday. At least two people have been confirmed dead with eight others, including a pregnant woman, left in critical condition.

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The Ghana Police Service and Armed Forces have dispatched more of their men into the community to maintain law and order and to retrieve some assault rifles believed to have been used in the clashes.

There are varying accounts of the cause of the attack, but some residents said a mobile phone and cylinder theft by an unidentified man triggered the incident.

Several properties worth thousands of cedis were destroyed in the course of the fight. Four people have been arrested in connection with the clashes.

Related Article: 2 more arrested in Konkomba, Dagomba clashes at Agbogbloshie

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, has appealed to the feuding factions to desist from acts that will taint the image of persons who hail from the three regions of the North – Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu, has also proposed the relocation of residents of the slum community, Sodom and Gomorrah, as a solution to the frequent clashes.

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery with Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul during a visit to the community

The police chief explained the congested nature of the area provides a breeding ground for miscreants and criminals who have been fomenting trouble in the community.

This suggestion has been dismissed by the Ghana Slum Union which believes it will do little to tackle the root cause of the clashes.

Union Secretary, Abdullah Alhassan, told Joy News political rivalry is the cause of the violence, adding it has nothing to do with ethnicity. He said it dates back to 2008 when late President John Evans Atta Mills won the election.

Related Article: Ethnicity not cause of Konkomba, Dagomba clashes – Slum Union

Supporters of the National Democratic Congress, he said, sacked persons believed to be NPP supporters and seized their properties – public washrooms and toilets, ramshackle rooms, amongst others. The NPP members also retaliated after the party was elected in the 2016 polls.

“The political culture that when the NPP is in power the NDC supporters should be driven out and when NDC is in power, NPP supporters have to be driven out has to be curbed,” he said.

But the AMA boss said he will implement the Agbogbloshie relocation programme that has been on the Assembly’s table since October 2009.

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Former AMA CEO, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, had designed the project to relocate all commercial activities at Old Fadama (Agbogbloshie) to Amasaman to decongest the area.

Mr Sowah stressed they will not relocate the people who are resident in the community, but rather the market. “There hasn’t been any clear strategy to relocate the people.”

He lauded the security personnel for the swift manner they handled the issue and prevented it from escalating. “The police and the military have done extremely well.”