The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Emmanuel Akwetey, has criticised government’s handling of the eviction of traders around President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Nima residence, describing it as reckless and careless.
He also stated that the compensation handed out to the affected persons, that reportedly ranged between GHc 2,000 and GHc 10,000, was inadequate after National Security gave them one week to pack out of the area.
[contextly_sidebar id=”y3lqHazOcQaHtPmCFT1ZCMY0ImEFLAEd”]Speaking on Eyewitness News, he acknowledged that there were legitimate security considerations that went into this move but they “should not be at the expense of very poor vulnerable people.”
He feels the situation which is “causing distress” in the name of the President should have been handled better.
For one, Dr. Akwetey said the traders have not received any reasonable compensation a claim corroborated by some traders themselves who told Citi News that the amounts were inadequate and not a true reflection of their investments.
“What I feel is not justifiable is the compensation given to them… it is from that angle that I feel we should question the process and the compensation given to them,” Dr. Akwetey said.
On the point of compensation, he also said the government needed to “explain the valuation and the compensation because [the traders] are vulnerable people.”
The IDEG boss also remarked that this action, whether it was executed with the President’s blessing or not, went against the government’s pledge to bridge the economic gap.
“All that I have heard is that the President wants to eradicate poverty and he wants to do it quickly. So I cannot understand a decision that rather aggravates the poverty of any group in these current circumstances, of those most vulnerable. I don’t think it is fair… I thought that the compensation should be increased. That makes them feel that yes the President must be protected but they also don’t feel distressed, dismayed, scared, unhappy and all that.”
Question of the Flagstaff House
On a side note, Dr. Akwetey also said the government should explain why “the President cannot move into the official residence [Flagstaff House].”
“What is the problem with it? I don’t know but there must be a reason why he wouldn’t move there so we should know,” he remarked.
The President’s decision to remain in his private residence has been the subject of some scrutiny, with critics noting the inconveniences that having the President in a regular residential area brings.
Before this eviction, the road in front of the President’s residence was closed to traffic and the effect this has had on some businesses in the areas has been cited as one of the negative effects of his decision not to move into the Flagstaff House.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana