Speaker wants Local Government Minister summoned to House

Speaker of Parliament, Edward Adjaho, has ordered the leadership of the House to schedule the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to appear before it to brief the members on what led to the attack on Parliament on Monday, by residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.

He gave the order following a riot by some squatters from Sodom and Gomorrah in protest against the demolition exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), at the weekend.

The rioters stormed the Parliament building and destroyed several properties belonging to the state, including a bus meant for the Bus Rapid Transport System.

The Minister, Alhaji Collins Dauda, is expected to explain what occasioned the exercise, how it was carried out and why the protesters stormed Parliament.

Mr. Adjaho said the House would take a decision on the matter after members had obtained first-hand information from the Minister.

The issue was raised on the floor by the Member for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, who said the rioters had no place to go since Parliament was the place where their representatives were.

He said, the security in Parliament was porous and therefore gave the rioters the opportunity to storm the building and destroy properties.

Mr. Baffour said, the attack was a wake-up call to assess the security situation in the House to prevent future attacks.

The Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul, commenting on the issue, said it was important to carry out the demolition to create a channel for the Korle Lagoon to flow into the sea.

However, he said, the manner in which the exercise was carried out was not the best, and took a swipe at the AMA for not conducting the exercise properly.

According to him, thousands of people had been displaced without any proper system to relocate them.

He chastised the security services for their inability to secure the forecourt of the State House where the damage was caused, saying “they were supposed to get the signal that the rioters would channel their frustrations to Parliament because that is where they can locate their representatives”.

He said if the rioters had attacked the House on a sitting day, the situation would have been worse than what was witnessed last Monday.

“They stood in the sun to vote for us. That is why they came here. The AMA should give us a roadmap on how the demolition is going to be carried out and plans to relocate the people there,” he said.

According to Mr. Nitiwul, the AMA was targeting the soft spots, leaving “big men” who had built houses and other structures in waterways.

He said the exercise, if not carried out well, would render many people homeless and stranded and cause a threat to security.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi, was in the House to respond to a number of questions relating to the supply of potable water to some rural communities throughout the country.

By Yaw Kyei

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