Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Old Fadama Residents Have No Excuse For Damaging State Property And Attacking The Police

It is a matter of regret that as a result of the recent floods in Accra, the city authorities have had to finally take steps to remove the illegal settlement, at Old Fadama.

Sadly, however, if we are to reduce the damage caused by flooding in Accra,  it is necessary to remove that illegal settlement that is a hotbed of carcinogenicity, toxicity and egregious environmental pollution -  in order to comprehensively dredge that section of the Odaw River that runs through it.

The point also needs to be made that no matter how much one sympathises with the unfortunate plight of the residents of Old Fadama, nothing can justify the resort to violence by those of them who marched to the State House and rioted there, a few days ago.

There can be no excuse for such mindless and needless violence in our democracy. Ours is a nation of laws.

Clearly, as a people, we need to find a solution to the increasing number of slums in urban Ghana - an unfortunate consequence of the growing disparities in wealth in our country. But slum dwellers must be law abiding - and politicians must refrain from turning slum-clearance into a political football.

The police must study video footage shown on television news reports, of those who rioted,  destroyed public property and attacked the police, frame by frame - and ask the media to publish photographs of the perpetrators: as a means of identifying and subsequently arresting them. They must all be prosecuted and jailed.

There is no question that for the greater good, the Old Fadama settlement must be removed, as a necessary flood-control measure.

The time to do so has now come. What needs to be done is to ensure that it is done as humanely as possible. Those who live there are our fellow  humans - most of them  forced by circumstances to live and work at Old Fadama.

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), must be tasked to provide the Old Fadama residents with emergency shelter,  and provide them with relief items for their sustenance for a reasonable period, whiles the rainy season lasts.

It is important, however, that those who rioted and damaged government property, when they converged at the State House a few days ago, and attacked the police, are not allowed to get away with their outrageous and disgraceful behaviour.

They must all be apprehended, prosecuted and jailed for their totally unacceptable and inexcusable behavior. There can be no excuse for such abominable and unspeakable acts of violence - resulting in the destruction of public property and the wounding of police officers maintaining law and order in our homeland Ghana.

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