General News of Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Parliament approved the demolishing of the Old Parliament House, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has stated.
According to a Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Richard Quayson, the legislature gave approval for the demolition after a budget was submitted to them by government.
CHRAJ has come under intense public criticism for pulling down the old legislative structure that also housed the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly in 1951, when Dr Kwame Nkrumah became the leader of government business under British rule.
Some Members of Parliament (MP), including the MP for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza, have threatened to take legal action against the demolishing of the building.
But speaking with Class News’ parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Annan, after a stakeholder’s conference on the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, Mr Quayson expressed surprise that some MP’s are agitating because the House approved the demolishing which was contain in its 2017 budget allocation.
He added that the pulling down of the structure was necessary to safeguard the health and safety of the workers of CHRAJ.
He said: “I’m sure probably the parliamentarians who are unhappy do not have the full facts. If you recall, on December 19, 2013 the old parliament chamber which holds the office of CHRAJ, EOCO was destroyed completely beyond redemption and we have been trying to demolish this structure for over a period and we have not had the budgetary support to do that.
“This year by God’s grace, the government has supported us with budgetary allocation. Do we wait for the building now to endanger lives of staff of CHRAJ before we act because anybody can charge us for negligence if anything happens?
“Even parliament approved the budget for us to demolish this structure so I don’t know what the [brouhaha] is about. Maybe we should have held some consultations again before the actual work was done. But this year before the budget was approved, the provision was in our budget requesting for allocation for the demolishing of the structure.
How can a building that cannot be redeemed remain standing for more than three years and we appear not able to do anything about it? It was posing as a hazard and threat to human life.”