Gov’t insensitive to the slum dwellers – NPP parliamentary candidate

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for Agona West Constituency, Cynthia Morrison, has criticized the recent demolition exercise by the Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije in Sodom and Gomorrah which has rendered thousands of illegal slum dwellers homeless.

Describing the move as a very insensitive decision taken by government, Mrs Morrison appealed to government to help do something quickly to alleviate the plight of the affected poor.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the NPP candidate hinted that although the power lies in the hands of Government to right what is wrong, it acted with high-handedness by neglecting the plight of the poor affected illegal slum dwellers, coupled with the wrong timing.

She said, “It’s a very insensitive decision taken by AMA, though Government has the right to demolish the illegal structures from there but the timing is so wrong; we are currently in a season of Ramadan (fasting period), the rainy season is here, the children too are re-writing their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and everybody is at risk, I don’t think this is a right time.”

She explained further that: “As for moving them, I believe we have to move them because where they are residing is not hygienically good for them but we should have tried giving them a place for shelter before moving them.”

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Mrs Morrison recounted how Government’s effort in the past has yielded good result in the cushioning the Liberian refugees who sought refuge in Ghana during the time of civil war, when they were provided with shelter over the heads.

“When the refugees came from Liberia, Government managed to get them a place to live, but what are we doing to our very own?” she asked.

“Government just pulled down their buildings when they go to work only to come back and realize they don’t have a place to live. Assuming it rained tonight, where are they going to sleep? That’s my worry,” she stated.

The Old Fadama community, popularly known as Sodom and Gomorrah, came into being in the early 90s following bloody clashes between the Kokomba and Nanumba ethnic groups in the Northern Region.

A huge number of northerners for fear of their lives fled down south and made the Old Fadama their new home. They have lived in the area for some two decades, have inter-married, given birth and multiplied.

The settlers have turned the area into a slum and have since been living in squalor.

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The place is also believed to be a den for criminals even though there are some genuine hardworking residents living there.

Past and present governments have attempted to demolish the slum but have been cowed by political pressures and the fear of losing elections.

However, after the June 3 disaster which left Accra submerged, lives and properties destroyed, the Mayor of Accra Alfred Oko Vanderpuije said the time for Sodom and Gomorrah to go is now.

On Saturday, earth-moving equipment descended on the ramshackle structures that housed the residents and tore them into rubbles.

The residents who claimed they were not informed about the demolition on Monday took over the streets in violent protestations.

But their protests yielded no fruits.

On Tuesday the AMA taskforce returned to the Old Fadama to finish the task of demolishing the community.

While the mayor is facing stiff opposition from the victims of the demolition, members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) are also kicking against the demolition.

They say the demolition could have dire repercussion on their electoral fortunes as the 2016 elections beckons.

But the Mayor has been resolute in his decision to demolish the structures at Sodom and Gomorrah.

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Mrs. Cynthia Morrison, who is a Director of Maryland Montessori School at Agona Swedru has been elected as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for Agona West Constituency to contest 2016 elections.

She polled 524 as against 144 votes by Mathias Fred Adjei in the recent primaries paving way for her to be the next candidate for the 2016 elections on the ticket of NPP for the Agona West Constituency.

The 2016 aspirant NPP Parliamentary Candidate contested for the primaries in 2012 in an attempt to win the Awutu-Senya seat but lost to Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson.

She said she is working hard as a noble candidate of the NPP party to wrestle the seat from the NDC Member of Parliament for the area come 2016 general elections and called on all members to vote for her massively to win.

She hinted President John Dramani Mahama is running the affairs of the country aground, urging the electorates to vote him out of power in the 2016 general elections, endorsing the candidature of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the only option of Ghanaians to enjoy a vibrant economy.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor||Ghana



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