The Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly (AEMA) has reportedly demolished over 200 structures in the municipality near the National Mosque at Kawukudi.
With the help of the Ghana Police Service, the assembly carried out the demolishing exercise to clear illegal structures on the land between the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and the Nima-Mamobi Community Library.
According to a news report by graphic.com.gh, about 200 structures, including motorbike repair shops, containers and food vending facilities, were destroyed in the course of the demolishing exercise, which took place on Monday, March 20, 2023,
Eyewitnesses, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, indicated that the exercise started around 5:30 a.m. and had over 30 armed police officers providing security.
One of the witnesses, Rafik Seidu, said that the demolishing exercise left hundreds of people stranded.
“I went to the mosque to pray, and when I finished and came out, I saw people running out of their rooms.
“Some of them had towels around their waists, and others wore only shorts because they were still sleeping when the demolition started,” he said.
He went on to say that there have been rumours that the area is being cleared for the construction of a police station.
The report also indicated that as of 8:30 a.m., affected persons could be seen at the site, salvaging some of their valuables from the rubble.
A victim who spoke to the Daily Graphic, Aziz Rufai, said that they were not informed of the demolishing exercise.
“They say the land is government property, so they need it, but we did not know that they would come today,” he said.
“I was still asleep when I heard people shouting, so I ran out only to see that armed policemen were watching on while excavators pulled down our accommodations,” another victim, who gave his name as Jibril, said.
However, the assembly halted the exercises after the intervention of the Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Nana Agyeman Prempeh.
Nana Agyeman Prempeh intervened to stop the demolition of a bungalow occupied by staff of his outfit.
“NADMO is a state institution and the bungalow we are occupying is a state building, so if any demolition is to be carried out at all, it is proper that the two-state institutions involved speak to each other for the exercise to be done well.
“It is not proper for NADMO staff to wake up to the news that we should pack our belongings out for demolition when we have not been informed,” he said.
The assembly gave a one-week ultimatum for all unauthorized structures attached to the NADMO block to be removed.