Thousands of residents living within Maamobi market area, Accra, thronged the streets of Accra yesterday to register their displeasure about attempts by government to evict them from the area.
According to them, the notice for a demolition exercise, scheduled for Sunday, August 28 was too short, while no compensation package had also been promised them.
The protestors, clad in red, displayed placards with inscriptions including ‘AmiduZakaria is abusing his power’, ‘Our parents are dying, stop the demolition’, ‘President must come to our aid’ and ‘No compensation no demolition’, amidst chanting of war songs.
Previous attempts by successive governments to demolish structures in the area for the construction of a market complex, had failed but the Ayawaso North Municipal Assembly has indicated its readiness to carry out the exercise come August 28.
Addressing the media and protestors at Obra Spot, Circle, Assembly member of the area, Mr Wisdom Boateng, stated that several meetings were held with officials of the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Assembly, yet residents have still not received any positive feedback.
He expressed worry about the number of businesses and properties residents had on the land, saying forcefully ejecting them without any compensation or ample time to relocate gradually, was not proper.
“We have people who have lived in the area for many decades, their whole life depends on their businesses in Maamobi so this decision to demolish the area has caused a lot of pain to families. It is possible to rescind the decision so government must have mercy and listen to us.”
“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told us he was a listening president so he should prove that to us now that we need him the most. We are not yet ready to move out of Maamobi Market area,” he lamented.
The Assembly member further questioned why residents were still being chased by revenue collectors for their property rates if authorities knew the residents were illegally occupying the land.
Mr Boateng stated that he would present the petition of the residents to authorities at the presidency.
Meanwhile some protestors the Ghanaian Times spoke with mentioned that ejecting them would mean war, as they would do everything within their power to ensure they are given more time and compensation.
Naa Norley Nortey, a 72-year-old resident said she had lived close to the Maamobi Polyclinic for more than 45 years and had nowhere else to go, adding that the threats to demolish the area had caused her sleepless nights.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU