Some affected property owners including Mr. Hassan Ayariga, Founder and Leader of the All People’s Congress, APC, have registered their displeasure to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for what they describe as the inhumane behaviour of Madam Janet Tulasi Mensah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Ga East in the Greater Accra Region.
The MCE on Saturday August 25, 2018, without obtaining a valid court order under the supervision of a Military and Police demolished private properties belonging to some Ghanaians, including one owned by Mr. Hassan Ayariga.
The property owners have thus called on President Akufo-Addo to revoke the appointment of Madam Tulasi Mensah as the Ga East MCE for her misguided attitude.
They also called on Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence and Mr. Ambrose Derry, the Minister for Interior to investigate and sanction the Military and Policemen who were deployed as land guards to intimidate landlords and landladies in the exercise.
It was alleged that the MCE was supported by one Captain Yaw Adu Adjei of the Ghana Armed Forces who organized over 30 military personnel with the Municipal Security Council also mobilizing over 40 Police personnel to carry out the exercise.
The exercise, which was led by the MCE started at dawn at about 3:00am, razing down Mr. Ayariga’s two and half Acres fence wall of 12 feet high, a foundation of a security post and houses including structures of many other citizens.
Some members of the Ga East Assembly , Nii Odai Tettey and Kwame Johnson Kornyafe who sold out the lands to some of the developers and equally issued out permits to them in the area, was also alleged to have been part of the team who demolished those structures.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mr. Ayariga on behalf of the property owners raised serious concerns about abuse of power, witch hunting, selective demolition, conflict of interest and violation of the constitution.
He said the security agencies in helping the MCE have resorted to gross abuse of power for using excessive force against workers, landlords and ladies on the site without provocation.
Mr. Ayariga said this was unbecoming in a democratic state like Ghana, and urged the President to act immediately as the forces he commands were being used as land guards to chase the very civilians they are to protect.
“The security authorities must control the irresponsible alleged use of our security men by political office holders. They beat and threatened to kill anyone who took pictures or interfere with the exercise that day”.
He said the manner in which the demolition was carried out by the assembly was is a clear abuse of political power and witch hunting, adding, “We the affected owners are citizens of this country and at least some notices should have being given to us as affected people.”
On the issue of selective demolition, Mr. Ayariga noted that the MCE left some properties, saying that, those properties were on protocol lands.
He quoted the MCE in her address to the media after the demolition exercise as saying that, “the Ga East Assembly was liaising with Ghana Atomic Energy Commission to acquire a parcel of their lands to construct a Waste Transfer Station and water Retention Basin separately to address the flooding situation in the municipality.”
This Mr. Ayariga said was conflict of interest rather than protecting government lands as she claimed after the exercise, adding, “Ghanaians are going through economic hardships, many of the affected landlords and landladies are in serious shock, some of them have been hospitalized and others are traumatized”.
Mr. Ayariga said the behaviour of the MCE and the Assembly was a clear violation of their mandate and constitution of Ghana.
“President Akufo-Addo is a law abiding citizen and should not allow any of his appointees or party members to tarnish the image of his government or use their office for witch hunting or personal gains”.
“We again call on the President to dissolve the current Municipal Security Council and a formation of independent minded members to manage the municipal security matters without being biased and call to order, some of his appointees who act with impunity and abuse their political office without recourse to the laws of Ghana.