Some affected property owners including the Founder/Leader of the All People Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga, have registered their disquiet at what the described as the ‘inhumane behaviour of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ga East in the Greater Accra Region, Madam Janet Tulasi Mensah.
The MCE on Saturday, August 25, 2018 without obtaining a valid court order under the supervision of a military and police team demolished private properties belonging to innocent Ghanaians, including one owned by Mr Hassan Ayariga.
Livid about the incident, the property owners called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to revoke the appointment of Madam Tulasi Mensah as the Ga East MCE for her ‘misguided’ actions.
They also called on the Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, and the Minister for Interior, Mr Ambrose Derry, to investigate and sanction the military and police personnel who were deployed to carry out the exercise.
It was alleged that one Captain Yaw Adu Adjei of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) deployed over 30 military personnel with the municipal security council also mobilising over 40 police personnel to carry out the exercise which was carried out on the orders of the MCE.
The demolishing exercise, which started at dawn at about 3:00 a.m., witnessed the razing down of Mr Ayariga’s two-and-a-half acre fence wall of 12 feet high, a foundation of a security post and houses including structures of many innocent citizens.
Some members of the Ga East Assembly, Nii Odai Tettey and Kwame Johnson Kornyafe, who sold out the lands to some of the developers and equally issued out permits to them in the area, were also alleged to have been part of the team who demolished the structures.
Addressing a press conference in Accra at the weekend, Mr Ayariga on behalf of the property owners raised serious concerns on what he said was clear an ‘abuse of power,’ selective demolition, conflict of interest and violation of the constitution.
He said the security agencies in assisting the MCE resorted to gross abuse of power by using excessive force against harmless workers, landlords and ladies on their sites without provocation.
According to the APC founder, this was unbecoming in a democratic state like Ghana, and thus urged the President to act immediately.
“The security authorities must control the irresponsible use of our security men and women by political office holders. They beat and threatened to kill anyone who took pictures or interfered with the exercise that day,” he bemoaned.
He said the manner in which the assembly carried out the demolition was a clear case of abuse of political power and witch-hunting, adding that “We the affected owners are citizens of this country and at least some notices should have been served to us.”
On the issue of selective demolition, Mr Ayariga noted that the MCE left some properties, alleging those properties were on protocol lands.
He quoted the MCE in her address to the media after the demolition exercise as saying that, “the Ga East Assembly was liaising with Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) to acquire a parcel of their lands to construct a Waste Transfer Station and water Retention Basin separately to address the flooding situation in the municipality.”
This, Mr Ayariga said, was a case of conflict of interest, lamenting that
“many of the affected landlords and landladies are in serious shock, some of them have been hospitalised and others traumatised.”
He went on to add that the conduct of the MCE and the assembly was a clear violation of their rights and the constitution of the country.
“President Akufo-Addo is a law-abiding citizen and should not allow any of his appointees or party members to tarnish the image of his government or use their office for witch-hunting or personal gains.”
…We again call on the President to dissolve the current Municipal Security Council and set up an independent minded members to manage the municipal security matters without being biased,” Mr Ayariga submitted.
Story: Kwamena ANANSE