There is mounting pressure on President John Dramani Mahama to sack the Managing Director of the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) over the recent demolishing exercise undertaken at Adjei Kojo.

The executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Tema say the Corporation failed to live up to its expectation by allowing people to put up buildings in the so-called unauthorized places.

Richard Fiadomor, Co-ordinating Secretary of the Tema Coordinating Committee say the ineptitude of the Managing Director warrants his dismissal by the President.

‘As a party, we have restrained ourselves in questioning the ineptitude of the Managing Director of TDC (Joseph Abbey) and today we are saying enough is enough and the president should sack him without delay.

‘We as a party cannot sit aloof for such an exercise which had the potential to generate a massive backlash for government to go without comment. The party is very much disappointed in the TDC for this exercise carried out without any human face.’

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for the Tema West constituency in the 2012 elections, has also condemned management of the Tema Development Corporation in no uncertain terms, on the way and manner they carried out the demolishing exercise at Adjei-Kojo recently.

According to Mr. Ampofo, who is also a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, TDC did not attach human face to the exercise, which destroyed properties running into several millions of Ghana cedis.

He observed that governance is all about people and, therefore, called on management of TDC, to with immediate effect, suspend the demolishing exercise.

Hon. Ofosu Ampofo stated: ‘In my opinion, TDC did not do proper consultation and planning, in fact, they did not consult the stakeholders who matter in a situation such as this’.

The former Local Government Minister advised developers to do due diligence whenever they decide to acquire a property like land, before they even think of putting up a building on it, as Ghana is a country which has rules and regulations governing construction in the country.

The NDC 2012 parliamentary candidate made the statement when the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) donated relief items to victims of the demolishing exercise, which was carried out last Tuesday by the TDC at Promise Land, a suburb of Adjei Kojo, along the Accra-Tema motorway.

The items included 10 tents, three bales of mats, 400 blankets, bales of used clothing and bed sheets, cups and mosquito nets.

Presenting the items, Mr. Kofi Portorphy, National Coordinator of NADMO called on government to allow the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to take over the development of Tema from the TDC.

He expressed his dissatisfaction over the way and manner management of TDC unilaterally decided to embark on a decision as serious as pulling down peoples’ houses without consulting the relevant stakeholders, thus in the process rendering over 800 people homeless.

He condemned the decision by TDC to demolish all those buildings, and called on all well meaning citizens to denounce the exercise, saying the decision has caused a huge embarrassment to the NDC-led government.

Mr. Portorphy said: ‘This is very bad and must be condemned by all because it has exposed the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the society. Go out there and you will see the number of our lands given out to foreigners by TDC’.

The NADMO boss disclosed that if for nothing at all, TDC should have informed his outfit about the impending exercise for them to have prepared themselves adequately for the challenge ahead.

Receiving the items on behalf of the victims, Hon. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive expressed his gratitude to NADMO for coming to the aid of the victims with the relief items and promised to distribute it to the victims.

The Tema mayor called on management of TDC to take a second look at the activities of its staff especially, members of the task force.

TDC on the defensive
The Tema Development Corporation (TDC) has, however, attempted an explanation for demolishing of the properties.

Briefing a section of the Tema media, Mr. Joe Abbey – Managing Director (MD) of TDC disagreed with persons who accused his outfit of not conducting the exercise with a human face.

Mr. Abbey stressed that management of TDC did everything humanly possible to ensure that the encroachers were given enough notices before the exercise commenced, including written notice – ‘Remove Within 21 Days, Or Face Demolishing – By TDC 06-05-13′ and ‘Final Warning, Remove By TDC 16-01-14′, on the buildings, but they did not heed all the warnings they gave them.

According to him, when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s administration decided to create the Tema port and township, it acquired 63 sq. miles of land from the traditional authorities within the area, namely Kpone, Tema and Nungua, and handed it over to the TDC to create, develop and manage it.

However, he continued, with time some persons have been encroaching upon portions of the land within the acquisition area belonging to his outfit and selling to members of the public with impunity.

What is disturbing, he revealed was the fact that the encroachers have engaged the services of land guards who have been attacking members of the TDC task force who go there from time to time to stop the encroachers from building on the land.

Mr. Abbey continued that on one such occasion, when the land guards who were wielding machetes and other dangerous implements attacked members of the TDC task force, they practically severed the wrist of one of the TDC task force members.

The TDC MD explained further that as part of plans to develop Community 23, his outfit decided to do it phase by phase, and the areas which were to be developed under the phase two formed part of where the demolishing exercise took place.

He revealed that every time TDC workers go there to work they would be hindered by these land guards thus making it impossible to carry on with their official responsibilities.

Revealing further, Mr. Abbey noted that already these encroachers have taken over 905 acres of TDC lands and because it is a public institution, they had no option than to regularize it for them, causing them to lose huge income.

He mentioned that the encroachers went as far as building on a stretch of land reserved as an access road which would be created to join the motorway, adding ‘We have to build terrace houses to be able to accommodate them’.

Mr. Abbey observed that the rate at which the land guards were attacking their staff was becoming too much, to the extent that even when they decided to conduct some survey works on their own land, they had to engage the services of military personnel from 74 Battalion.

He hinted that this exercise was to send signals to the encroachers that they would no longer tolerate the level of indiscipline that have been going on there for all these while.

He explained further that before they embarked on the exercise, they gave notices to all those who were building in the area without proper documentation for over two years before they started the exercise.


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