Gov't denies evicting traders, artisans around Akufo-Addo's Nima residence

Gov't denies evicting traders, artisans around Akufo-Addo's Nima residence
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim
Date: 11-03-2018 Time: 06:03:03:pm

Government has denied reports that traders and artisans operating in front of the President's residence have been given a week's notice to vacate the location. 

According to Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, the leadership of the artisans and traders requested for a six-week grace-period from National Security, to enable them to move which has been granted. 

In a press release Sunday, the Minister explained that "extensive consultations were undertaken between the Office of the President, National Security, and the traders and artisans, before the implementation of this decision."

"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. 

Prior to Nana Akufo-Addo becoming President, there was a taxi rank, an artisanal shop and traders operating in front of his Nima residence in Accra.

Last week, there were reports about National Security has given the artisans and traders a one-week ultimatum to move out of the neighbourhood.

Those affected were to receive amounts ranging from GH¢3,000 to GH¢10,000 as compensation. 

The news of the President evicting the very people he has lived with for many years was met with lots of criticisms.

But Mr Hamid has explained that after Nana Akufo-Addo won the 2016 election and before his swearing-in, the taxi drivers, on their own volition, moved away from the location. 

He said this was upon realising the implication of their operations for the security and safety of the President.

"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," the Minister explained.

According to him, a group of artisans, describing themselves as “the Junior Masters”, who were not beneficiaries of the initial compensation, in a letter to President in February 2018, appealed to be included in the compensation package.

Their request was subsequently accepted by the President has accepted, the Minister explained further. 

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