The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the demolition exercise carried out at the premises of the Trade Fair Centre in Accra as an act of victimization of political opponents by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
According to the party, the demolition formed part of a grand scheme targeted at destroying all businesses with some form of perceived leanings to the NDC.
The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFCL) last Sunday demolished properties of its tenants at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra to pave way for the redevelopment of the site.
Among the tenants at the trade fair centre whose properties were destroyed by a bulldozer under the supervision of armed security personnel was Universal Labels & Packaging Co. Ltd and Colour Planet, a printing company owned by Raymond Archer, a journalist.
According to the GTFCL, its tenants were duly given a mandatory six-month notice on July 10, 2018 to vacate the site.
A statement the company issued on Tuesday said as of December 31, 2018, none of the businesses on the site had a valid tenancy agreement with the GITFC.
It indicated that on September 24, 2017, the GITFC sent notices to all tenants to renew their tenancy agreements for another year, followed by a reminder on November 1, 2017, asking tenants to renew their tenancy by November 10, 2017 before the redevelopment exercise commenced.
In November 2018, it said, it took the initiative to engage all the businesses on a one-on-one basis to discuss the redevelopment project and its impact on their businesses.
It said some of the businesses took advantage of the offer, while others did not.
But a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by the NDC’s General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the demolition was “clearly an act of cowardice driven by Akufo Addo’s insatiable desire for vindictiveness and nepotistic totalitarianism. This Demolishing exercise constitute an act of economic brutality targeted at a hardworking young businessman.”
“It is our considered view that, this demolishing forms part of a grand scheme targeted at destroying all businesses with some form of perceived leanings to the National Democratic Congress. We have witnessed the unlawful closure of financial institutions, radio stations, media houses, construction companies and several other local businesses,” the statement added.
“This follows a similar application of impunity in the unlawful demolishing of a 4 bedroom house belonging to Mr. Mustafa Gbande a Former NDC Deputy Regional Secretary of the Volta Region by a team of National Security and Police Operatives and a host of other such heartbreaking socio-economic rapture of peoples livelihood. At this point, we are convinced this various acts of impunity by the Akufo Addo government constitute an act of provocation against the National Democratic Congress and its entire membership,” it said.
The party is therefore demanding “an immediate cessation of these acts of provocation and intimidation of innocent citizens”, adding, “President Akufo Addo must be reminded that when injustice and impunity becomes law, resistance becomes an inevitable duty of the people.”