urban slums
urban slums

Residents of the notorious slum in Ghana’s capital, Sodom and Gomorrah, went wild on Monday following the demolition of their makeshift homes and businesses by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

urban slums
urban slums

Local media reports indicated that the protesters, mostly from the northern regions of the country, clashed with the police who tried in vain to restore order and peace during the demolition exercise.

Armed with stone, cudgels, cutlasses and other offensive weapons, the angry residents later stormed the frontage of the State House, adjacent to parliament House, attacked the police and journalists, causing damage to vehicles and other state property.

Some 26 persons were arrested by the police in connection with the act of vandalism caused by the protesters.
The Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuiye, had on Saturday led the long-awaited demolition exercise in a bid to make way for the dredging of the heavily choked Korle Lagoon and Odaw River caused by the illegal occupants at Old Fadama, a suburb of the national capital.

Many parts of the national capital experienced a downpour on June 3, 2015, causing the twin flood and fire disaster that claimed more than 159 lives and displaced several hundred residents.

The exercise has sparked mixed feelings among Ghanaians, with some saying the exercise was overdue while others claimed it was carried out without a human face.

The Accra mayor, Vanderpuiye, in particular, has come under severe criticism from executives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Odododiodio constituency over his seeming non-negotiable stance on the demolition of the illegal structures in arguably the city’s biggest slum.

wpid-Sodom-1-300x169.jpgExecutives of the NDC, worried by the negative impact the exercise could bring to bear on next year’s general election, stormed out of a meeting at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) office Tuesday morning.

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, some officials of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Mayor had met to put a humanitarian face to the demolition exercise that has already seen thousands of squatters evicted and their homes razed to the ground.

The NDC party men labeled the Mayor as being “wicked” and with no “human feeling” for the affected residents who lost all their property to the exercise.

The Deputy Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, argued that the AMA went beyond the demarcation it agreed with the residents for Saturday’s demolition.

He explained that, prior to the demolition, AMA officials had met with the residents during which it was agreed that only structures 50 meters away from the Odaw River would be demolished.

However on the day of the demolition, houses as far as 300 meters away from the river were all demolished, prompting the angry residents to launch the mass protest.

The victims are now demanding compensation and proper re- settlement.

Demolitions are politically tricky decisions for all governments since 1992. Many Mayors in Accra who threatened to carry out such demolition exercise later backed down due to political pressure or other reasons. Enditem

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