Sodom and Gomorrah demolition greatest decision since independence-Mayor

Sodom and Gomorrah demolition greatest decision since independence-Mayor
Source: Ghana||Nathan Gadugah
Date: 23-06-2015 Time: 06:06:55:pm

Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije has defended the demolition exercise ongoing at Sodom and Gomorrah which has displaced thousands.

Describing the demolition as the greatest life-saving decision taken after independence, the Mayor said the demolition was long overdue.

He said the June 3 flood and fire disasters which claimed over 150 lives affirmed the long held conviction that the sprawling community should be demolished.

The Old Fadama community, popularly called Sodom and Gomorrah came into being in the early 90s following bloody clashes between the Kokomba and Nanumba ethnic groups in the Northern Region which left thousands dead.

A huge number of the Northerners fearful for thier lives, fled down south and made the Old Fadama their new home. They have lived in the area for some two decades, have inter-married, given birth and multiplied.

The settlers have turned the area into a slum and have since been living in squalor.

The place is also believed to be a den for criminals even though there are some genuine hardworking residents over there.

Past and present governments have attempted to demolish the slum but have been cowed by political pressures and the fear of losing elections.

However after the June 3 disaster occurred which left Accra submerged, lives and properties destroyed, the Mayor of Accra Alfred Oko Vanderpuije said the time for Sodom and Gomorrah to go is now.

On Saturday earth moving equipment descended on the ramshackles that housed the residents and tore them into rubbles.

The residents who claimed they were not informed about the demolition on Monday took over the streets in violent protestations.

But their protests yielded no fruits. On Tuesday the AMA taskforce returned to the Old Fadama to finish the task of demolishing the community.

While the mayor is facing stiff opposition from the victims of the demolition, members of the governing NDC are also kicking against the demolition.

They say the demolition could have dire repercussion on their electoral fortunes as the 2016 elections beckons.

But the Mayor has been resolute in his decision to demolish the structures at Sodom and Gomorrah.

He told Joy News' Kwakye Afreh Nuamah the demolition was undertaken after meetings with elders of the slum.

"It is going so well and we are achieving the objective," he said, adding the people have been creating filth at the Odaw and if steps are not taken the people themselves will one day be engulfed in another disaster.

He said some of the slum dwellers have agreed to go back to their hometowns and the AMA has made buses available to carry them back home.

"We are thinking of building a wall" around the demolished area, he said and ruled out the possibility of the people rebuilding the area.