Indications from Bryan Acheampong, the Minister of State in-charge-of National Security, are that President Nana Akufo-Addo is actively living in the Flagstaff House, the seat of the presidency.
Issues concerning the President’s abode has come up following National Security’s moves to evict some traders and individuals who live and work just opposite the President’s private Nima residence.For example, the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), questioned why the President has not moved into the Flagstaff House only to be inconveniencing poor and vulnerable persons in the name of national security.
Responding to these concerns on Eyewitness News, Mr. Acheampong stressed that the President lived in both the Flagstaff House and his Nima residence, when the need arises.
“I have told you since we started this interview that the President lives and works in the Flagstaff House. That is not the only place that the President sleeps or stays. When the President goes to Kumasi, he has a place to stay. When he is in Accra, apart from the Flagstaff House, there is Peduase which is in the Eastern Region but close to Accra he works from and sleeps there.”
The Minister, however stated that the fact the President lived at Flagstaff House did not mean his private residence did not require National Security protocols.
“The fact is that, whether President Akufo-Addo lives at the Nima residence or lives at the Flagstaff House, that is his private residence. He so often visits the place to have his private business and private family engagements in this house… We know that he goes there a minimum of two or three times a week. It is the responsibility of the state to declare the area a security zone and protect it 24/7,” the Minister explained.
Beyond the President’s safety, Mr. Acheampong reminded that “his close family are high-value targets that we must protect and some of them live in that [Nima] residence.”
On Friday, March 9, National Security gave the residents and traders up to Thursday [March 15] to pack out of the area.
The affected persons were said to be receiving compensation of GHc 3,000 to GHc 10,000, and though some of the affected persons have begun moving, others who spoke to Citi News complained the compensation amounts were not enough for them to move.
Traders will still go Thursday
Mr. Acheampong said the government will continue to engage the traders, but was adamant that they will be cleared on Thursday regardless of the outcome.
“Those who are dissatisfied, we will engage them and see and reach an agreement with them. Definitely, they have to go. That one is not in question. The issue, the contention is the settlement we must give them.”
“A few of them are saying they want a top up. Those are discussions we can have, and we are going to begin those discussions today [Tuesday]. But I am saying that in the unlikely event that we are unable to reach an agreement before the 15th, their vacating the place on the 15th is not subject to negotiations. We can continue the negotiations afterwards.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana