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16.02.2009 NDC News

Ashaiman NDC disassociates itself… from last Thursday's disturbances at ASHMA

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The Ashaiman branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disassociated itself from a group of youth, perceived to be supporters of the party, who stormed the offices of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) last Tuesday, to create disturbances.

According to the party, those who disrupted activities at the Assembly on that faithful day were not members of the party, but people who were aggrieved by what happened in 2001, after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had won power.

The Ashaiman youth allegedly stormed the offices of ASHMA, intimidated officials of the Assembly, especially the MCE, the Co-ordinating Director and the Engineer, and eventually locked them out of the Assembly.

The youth were also alleged to have threatened the staff of the Assembly not to set foot at the Assembly for their own good, something that has instilled the fear of God in the Assembly staff to the extent that they have decided for the fear of their lives not to go to work until something drastic was done about it.

Addressing the media at Ashaiman last Wednesday, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ashaiman constituency, Alfred Agbesi noted that those who attacked the ASHMA office were unhappy about the conduct of the Municipal Chief Executive of ASHMA.

“Personal investigations revealed that the group numbering over three hundred (300) were unhappy about the conduct of the Municipal Chief Executive, Co-ordinating Director and the Engineer of the Assembly over the handling of the public toilets of Ashaiman and other development projects”.

“The genesis of this unhappiness dates back to 2000/2001 when NPP gained political power and the Ashaiman NPP constituency Chairman and the Secretary organized thugs and forcibly took over the operations of about 20 toilets of Ashaiman” “These NPP officials then formed a company called Sanites Limited and operated the toilet, and accounted only to themselves, leading to the loss of six hundred and fifty million cedis to the Assembly”, he explained.

Hon. Agbesi, flanked by executive members of the party further explained that the Ashaiman youth also believed that the Municipal Engineer was inefficient in the discharge of his duties, massive corruption and arrogance of most of the officials, some of whom they perceive to be committed NPP sympathisers.

The Ashaiman legislator appealed to the government to institute a commission of enquiry into the administration of ASHMA with regards to “The sale of government land, open spaces for recreation and public parks”.

He also called for investigations into the operations of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) as regards employments, contracts, TOR recovery programme and importation of crude oil, as well as the granting of building permits soon after the exit of the NPP administration.

On allegations that some two members of the executives of the party were seen at the ASHMA offices on the day of the incidence, Hon. Agbesi noted that the two executive members went there to ensure that the youth comported themselves.

He was, however, evasive on a question from the media that the perceived action of the NDC youth to take over the toilets of Ashaiman was an act of retaliation, saying “I cannot comment on this”.

Hon. Agbesi, nevertheless, promised to collaborate with whoever becomes the new MCE to ensure that the issue of who should take over or manage the toilets in Ashaiman could be resolved once and for all, to avoid such occurrences in the future.

He called on all the aggrieved persons, especially the youth to exercise restraint for the staff of ASHMA, especially those perceived to be sympathisers of the erstwhile NPP administration, as they are performing their legitimate responsibilities until President Atta Mills decides what to do with them.

“They are public servants who are performing their legitimate official duties in the interest of the state. We are nevertheless unaware of the mess at ASHMA and other establishments like TOR and TDC”, he indicated.

He further appealed to the supporters of the party to calm nerves and give President Mills enough room to operate, and not to be seen as creating problems for the President who is known in political circles as 'Asomdwehene'.

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