BY PHILIP ANTOH | firstname.lastname@example.org
Over a thousand people, including children and the aged, resident at CMB Abadown (Darkuman Station), near Agbobloshie, a community in Accra, took to the streets on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, to protest against a proposed demolition exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The demonstrators, wearing red bands and head gears, sang war songs to send a message to the AMA and people they described as other faceless government officials who had served them notice to pack out of the land they have occupied for the past 30 years.
The demonstrators served notice that they would not vacate a place where some of them had lived all their lives.
Speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE, Mr Kofi Badu, the Darkuman CMB Station Master, said for the past 30 years, the people had lived and paid royalties to the Ghana Railway Company and AMA without any problem.
Mr Badu said they had lived there peacefully until sometime in May this year when they woke up one morning to see warning signs on their kiosks, asking them to vacate the area.
One of the warning signs read ‘Final Warning, Remove Before 25-6-18, By AMA.’
The Station Master said when “we saw the writings on the kiosks we went to the AMA to inquire from them what was happening, but we were told at the Assembly that they knew nothing about the warning signs.
“What we are hearing is that they have sold the land to one ConiBless so we asked and wanted to see the face behind that ConiBless but we were told at the place that the woman had travelled,” he stated.
A trader, Ms Esther Kwakwa, one of the opinion leaders in the area, said there seemed to be faceless people behind the demolition threat.
Ms Kwakwa said information available indicated that the area was earmarked for road but what “we hear now is that they have sold the land to five people but our checks at the Railway Company revealed they are not aware of any transaction.”
Another trader, who has lived in the area for the past 30 years, Mr Stephen Abuako, said during election 2016, President Nana Akufo-Addo promised to provide them decent accommodation so “we voted massively for him.
“We are therefore surprised today that under his government, we are being chased out of our livelihood and homes. Let me say this, we will not move until they come to compensate us,” Mr Abuako stated.
He said authorities should give them more time to pack out or better still provide them compensation before moving them out.
Mr Abuako is, therefore, appealing to the government, the AMA and the Member of Parliament for the area to come to their aid since the proposed demolition would make them homeless.