The Minister for Information and Presidential spokesperson, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has described as completely false media reports that shop owners and traders around the private residence of President Akufo-Addo were given only a week's notice to vacate the location.
A statement issued by the Presidency and signed by Dr Hamid said 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 to move which was granted.
The statement also disclosed that Akufo-Addo personally paid compensation packages from his own resources to some of the traders and artisans after National Security had concluded negotiations with them.
It said 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 February 25, 2018, appealed to the President to be included in the compensation package, a request to which the President has accepted.
Some of the traders around the President's Nima residence
News of the eviction of shop owners and traders around the private residence of President came to the fore last week after some of them complained that the compensation which ranges between GH₵3000 to GH₵10,000 was inadequate and not a true reflection of their investments.
“They told us they would give us something to take our containers. They gave some GHc 2,000, some GHc 3,000 and I heard some were given GHc 10,000. They haven’t given me the cost of the land. For the blocks and stones, I have already spent GHc 500 and [I have to pay to transport] the container. It is not easy,” one woman said in an interview with Citi FM.
Another, a fruit trader, said she was yet to receive any compensation money.
According to her, the compensation money was given to some leaders in the area who have not disbursed it.
“I live here. I’ve been here for four years. I sell fruits. I heard they were going to evict us from here and compensate us with money. But some of the elders have taken the compensation money and not given us some of it. I have not even gotten even 10 pesewas.”
“What do we do now? Me, I don’t have money to rent a new home so we really need some help,” she lamented.
Read the entire statement below;
Re: Eviction Of Traders In Front Of President’s Nima Residence
Government’s attention has been drawn to news items on the media landscape, about the “eviction of traders” in front of the President’s House in Nima, and wish to state as follows:
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).