Alhaji Collins Dauda
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, has directed the Business Committee of Parliament to schedule the Local Government Minister, to brief members of the House on circumstances that lead to the demolishing of structures at Old Fadama in Accra popularly known as Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Speaker?s directive follows concerns raised by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday in respect of the riot by some squatters from Sodom and Gomorrah in protest of a demolition exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) carried over the weekend.
Mr. Baffour appealed to the Speaker to help beef up the security situation in and around Parliament considering the incident that happened yesterday.
He noted that as the representatives of the people it was appropriate for their constituents to seek their audience for possible resolution on issues but added that these actions must be done in an orderly and legal manner.
He described the action by the demonstrators as a serious breach of security, adding that parliament as it stands now is insecure. He said it is time Parliament sits up and address the security situation of the legislature.
Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul, in his contribution prayed the Speaker to immediately order for the cessation of the ongoing demolition exercise.
Mr Nitiwul who is also the MP for Bimbilla, said the demolition exercise has triggered a national security threat which the House must immediately address as representatives of the people.
He said enough time ought to have been given to the residents to adequately prepare and vacate the premises before carrying out the exercise, adding that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) should mark all the structures that would be affected before embarking on the demolition exercise.
He observed that since they represent the people it was obvious for them to come to Parliament, hence the security should have picked up this intelligence to prevent the situation from happening.
He said if the rioters had attacked the House on a sitting day, the situation would have been worse than what was witnessed last Monday.
?They stood in the sun to vote for us that is why they came here. The AMA should give us a roadmap on how the demolition is going to be carried and plans to relocate the people there,? he said.
He expressed concerns over the manner in which the exercise was carried saying it was not the best. He took a swipe at the AMA for not conducting the exercise properly.
He chastised the security services for their inability to secure the forecourt of the state house where the damage was caused, adding that, ?they were supposed to get the signal that the rioters would channel their frustrations to Parliament because that is where they can locate the representatives?.
According to Mr. Nitiwul, the AMA was targeting the soft spots, leaving ?big men? who had built houses and other structures in water ways.
He also appealed to the House to invite the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to come and brief members about the roadmap for the demolishing exercise, which has displaced hundreds of households in the city?s shanty town.
Contributing to the matter, the Majority Leader, Alban Sumana Bagbin said it was important for the House to invite the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda to brief members about the demolition exercise since his ministry has oversight responsibility over the AMA.
Victims of the Sodom and Gomorrah demolition exercise besieged the premises of the State House and vanderlised properties belonging to the state in protest.
Source : Gily Sparks ,Spy News Agency