As Ex-Adentan MCE Serves Eviction Notice
By Cecil Mensah
Artisans numbering about six thousand have threatened to stage a massive demonstration against the government, if the Adentan Municipal Assembly (AdMA) in the Greater Accra Region, executes its decision to evict them without any appropriate relocation plan.
The Assembly, led by Madam Kakra Van-lare, on Monday, November 4, 2013 directed that the artisans operating fitting shops on a state-owned land to vacate from the area, however, measures have not been put in place to relocate them to a different venue, where they would operate and earn decent living.
What is shocking is that the same Municipal Assembly, collects the bulk of its revenue from the artisans as taxes on daily basis. This means that throwing them out, will also lead to a reduction in revenue collection for the Assembly, aside the mass unemployment that its decision will cause.
The artisans are located on a huge plot of land called “Aviation,” near Baba Yara Bus Stop at Ashaley Botwe under the Adentan Municipal Assembly. They have been living on the land over the past twenty years, and just about two weeks ago, agents of the Assembly pasted eviction notice on their kiosks and stalls, asking them to vacate the area within two weeks.
The artisans said, they have over the years contributed to the development of the said land, which covers about six hundred and thirty- two acres, by maintaining the land that was bushy and served as a den for criminals, until they started their business, some years ago.
They repair damage cars and sell auto parts to the residents of Madina, Adentan, Ashaley Botwe, East Legon and many others areas.
The artisans, who have formed an association called, “Aviation Artisans and Traders Association” and led by Alhaji Baba, Mr. Ofosuhene Williams and Mr. Alexander Konadu, chairman, porter and spokesperson respectively, in an exclusive interview with The Herald appealed to the Local Government Ministry to come to their aid.
They said that since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by the late President, John Evans Atta-Mills, created the AdMA, they have been paying property rate and business operation permit (BOP) to the AdMA.
They claimed that on the average, each artisan operating in the area pays not less than GH¢30 every year to the Assembly. Also, a refuse dump that has been operating in the area for the past seven months, has generated over Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty-Two Ghana Cedis to the Municipal Assembly.
They mentioned, one Anthony Zoglo, as the person who comes around to collect the BOP tax on behalf of the Assembly and issues them with receipts.
“We have been operating here for the past twenty years, when this area was under the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) before it became Madina-Abokobi, and later the Adentan Municipal Assembly”, the sad-looking leaders told The Herald.
Meanwhile, The Herald has learnt that portions of the land the artisans are currently occupying belong to the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), and it is earmarked for the construction of a six lane highway from Pokuase to Tema.
“We are aware the land we are occupying is a government property, hence our appeal to the Assembly to relocates us to a more appropriate place to enable us continue with our business to continue to fend for ourselves and our families”, they said.
The leadership of the association feels the Municipal Assembly is not treating them fairly, especially when “we are all witnesses to how the artisans along George Walker Bush N1 Highway and artisans along the Madina-Pantang highway were treated when construction works begun on those roads.
But here no sod has been cut for the construction of the road and the Assembly is sacking us, without any proper relocation plans”?
They complained about economic hardships in the country and said the Assembly would be compounding their suffering by throwing ‘’us out of job when chunk of us have gone for loans to boost our businesses in the area”.
The leaders are, however, appealing to the government to step in and remedy the situation for peace to prevail in the area.
Speaking to The Herald yesterday, the beleaguered Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Madam Kakra Van-lare said, the land in question is a property of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
She said, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the GCAA and the Adentan Municipality Assembly were planning to re-develop the land.
“We are going to put up a shopping mall, a recreational centre and other amusement centres for the people of Adentan and its environs.
She was emphatic that the Assembly has oversight responsibility over lands in the area, hence the decision of the Assembly to give them a two-week eviction notice to vacate the area for the onward construction of the recreational centres.
She denied that about the six hundred and thirty –two acres of lands in the above mentioned area belongs to the GHA.
“My brother I cannot confirm that the land belongs to GHA as far as I am concerned,” she posited