Accra Mayor denies any directive to stop decongestion in the city
Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra Mayor on Tuesday denied receiving any directive from President John Evans Atta Mills to suspend the on-going decongestion exercise in the city.
"Please let me state emphatically that I have not received such orders from President Mills."
Dr. Vaderpuije had organized at a press briefing to react to publications in two leading national newspapers in Accra that President Mills had ordered the Mayor of Accra to suspend the decongestion exercise in the city.
President Mills, he said, "recognizes the great job the AMA and Ghanaians have asked us to perform with a high sense of understanding and cooperation," but has never directed the AMA to stop or suspend its good job.
"President Mills being the decent and gentleman that he is, called me twice on Tuesday morning between 0800 hours and 0900 hours to apologize for the publications and I accepted his apology in good faith. He will always remain in my eyes, a great man and good friend whom I have uttermost respect," he said.
According to Dr. Vanderpuije, he would not be daunted by these publications but pledged his commitment "by God's grace to ensure the city of Accra was declared a Millennium City on January 15, 2010."
He explained that decisions by the AMA were not taken in vacuum but were informed by the concerns of all stakeholders and responsible Ghanaians, adding: "President Mills would not give such directives let alone allow such publications in the mass media".
Dr. Vanderpuije noted that the AMA would not commit the mistakes of the past therefore, the decongestion exercise would continue unabated and all unauthorized structures, buildings, and encroachments would be demolished.
"We need to put these things behind us and continue to work with the public to make Ghana a better place" he said and noted that the decongestion exercise would not be a nine day wonder as some people were contemplating.
"Accra to become a 21st Century city is the AMA's goal and we stand by it. We have a responsibility to the people," he added.
On whether hawkers would be allowed to operate during the Christmas festivities, the assembly members present shouted: "No! No!"
Some of the assembly members expressed concerns about the publications and pledged their commitment to resist attempts to stop the on-going exercise.
Earlier, some traders thronged the premises of the AMA to ascertain the validity of the publications and pledged their unflinching support to Dr. Vanderpuije with the hope that the on-going demolition exercise would compel patrons of the market keep the city clean.