The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) yesterday carried yet another demolition exercise at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to pave way for construction of drains in the area.
An early swoop, supervised by heavy police and military personnel, including special security of the AMA, saw an excavator and bulldozers pulling down illegal structures and mini food vending kiosks.
Apart from a Mosque and the livestock market near Articulator Station, all structures close to the Odawna rail line were pulled down.
Also exposed in the exercise were illegal electricity and water connections to wooden structures, beer bars and boutiques among others.
A handful of the illegal structures had been fixed with water and electricity meters.
Hundreds of squatters said to have been informed by the assembly prior to the exercise, watched helplessly as heavy equipment pulled, crushed and mangled the unathorised structures.
Rodents such as rats, bats, mice as well as cats were forced out of their hideout as they could not withstand the noise from the heavy machines.
When The Ghanaian Times got to the scene at 12:15pm, the victims were seen salvaging their wares from the rubbles.
Maria Abubakar, a 46-year-old trader, told our reporter that she had lost “everything”.
The widow said she and her four children had nothing to rely on and called on the government to come to their aid.
Mrs. Gyasi, a food vendor, whose container was demolished, said her source of livelihood had been curtailed.
While admitting they were given enough notice, Mrs. Gyasi urged the AMA to undertake such exercise with human face.
In what could be described as a replica of the Sodom and Gormorrah demolition, the exercise left the affected victims stranded, while others wandered about with their goods.
A middle-aged man, alleged to have pick-pocketed a victim, was arrested by the police and taken to the police station.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the AMA, Numo Blafo, declined to comment, saying the assembly would brief the media today.
Meanwhile, management of Las Palmas Restaurant, a popular food joint at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, have been given a two-day ultimatum to produce operating permit or risked demolition.
A source close to the assembly disclosed to The Ghanaian Times in the eight-hour demolition that, “Left to me, Las Palmas should go because the structure is sitting on the drain impeding the flow of water when it rains,” the source said.
Pleading anonymity, the source said a motorable road and drains would be constructed from Avernor, through to Las Palmas junction to allow free flow of rain waters and to ease traffic congestion.
By Malik Sullemana