The government has defended the directive from National Security for traders and residents close to the Nima residence of President Nana Akufo-Addo to vacate the area, stating that the evictees were given enough time to leave.
A statement from the government said “extensive consultations were undertaken between the Office of the President, National Security, and the traders and artisans, before the implementation of this decision.”
1.Prior to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo becoming President of the Republic, there was a taxi rank, an artisanal shop and traders operating in front of his house. After being declared winner of the 2016 election, and before the President’s swearing-in on 7th January, 2017, the taxi drivers, on their own volition, moved their operations away from the President’s residence, realizing the implication of their operations for the security and safety of the President.
2.In view of the security implications of the operations of the traders, and artisans, National Security proceeded to engage with them, and compensation packages of varied sums were agreed on. President Akufo-Addo has taken the view that the national purse should not be burdened on a matter such as this, and has gone on to pay these compensations from his personal resources.
3.A group of artisans, describing themselves as “the Junior Masters”, who were not beneficiaries of the initial compensation, in a letter to President Akufo-Addo, dated 25th February, 2018, appealed to the President to be included in the compensation package, a request to which the President has accepted.
4.It is important to note that extensive consultations were undertaken between the Office of the President, National Security, and the traders and artisans, before the implementation of this decision. It is completely false that only a week’s notice was given to the traders and artisans to move from their current location. Indeed, the leadership of the artisans and traders requested for a six week grace-period from National Security, beginning from the last week of January 2018, to enable them move. Clearly, this request has been met.
5.The National Security is continuing with the engagement process, in order to ensure that their movement is done in a manner that accommodates their welfare as citizens of Ghana.
Mustapha Abdul-Hamid (PhD)
(Minister for Information and Presidential Spokesperson).