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23.11.2010 NDC News

Tuba Residents Give NDC Red Card

By Daily Guide
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The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is likely to lose more votes in Tuba, a settler community in the Ga South Municipal Assembly in the 2012 general elections, if the chiefs and people of the area carry out their threat not to vote for the party.

The about 500 residents of the area, which is an NDC stronghold, who embarked on a demonstration in the area in protest of the demolition of their houses, vowed not to vote for the NDC for what they described as the unjust and heartless treatment meted out to them by government.

They have consequently threatened to deal with any official of the party who sets foot there to campaign.

According to them, they could not fathom why the government could organize a joint police/military team to supervise the demolishing of over 300 houses in the community in the early hours of Saturday, November 20, 2010.

Residents of the area said they were taken by surprise when they saw the team entering the town with nine bulldozers and six excavators, a few minutes before 10am on Saturday, to demolish their houses.

The houses were said to have been built in an area earmarked for a government irrigation project.

In the process of the exercise, a number of residents in the area were said to have been beaten up by the security agencies when they attempted to take snapshots and video footages of the exercise with their mobile phones.

Even though they admitted to not voting or supporting the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the residents said the NPP administration never treated them this way when they were in power.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE yesterday, 27-year-old Jamal Muniru, one of the victims of the demolishing exercise, lamented that they could not understand why the buildings were demolished without cause because all those affected by the exercise had documents covering the lands.

Jamal said he had lost all his investments since he had sunk over GH¢8,000 into his building which was near completion.

Yusif Benjin, a former propaganda secretary of the NDC in Akwatia, got upset about the exercise because the houses of a poor blind man and a widow who lived in the area were affected by the exercise.

'When the lady told them her husband was still at the morgue and yet to be buried, they shouted at her and asked her to get out. So if Rawlings tells Atta Mills to be careful of his administration, it is for nothing but some of these reasons,' he said.

In the heat of his anger, Benjin burnt an NDC T-shirt, with a promise that he and his people would never vote for the NDC unless government dully compensated them for their loss.

Secretary to the overlord of the area, Daniel Nii Adu Tagoe, recalled that in 1979, the chiefs and people of Tuba allocated some land to Irrigation Development Authority (IDA) through the government for farming purposes.

With time, he said, the farm collapsed and government had since sold the land to individuals for residential purposes.

He noted that the chiefs wrote several letters and petitions to government to compensate them for the use of the land but all fell on deaf ears.

This, according to him, was the reason why the chiefs decided to give some of the said lands to the indigenous people to build houses.

Mr. Tagoe alleged that Agric Minister Kwesi Ahwoi visited the area and indicated government's intention to embark on a demolition exercise in the area that had the canal which was supposed to supply water to the irrigation farm, since they wanted to revive the farm.

He therefore expressed surprise that government went contrary to its promise to demolish only buildings affecting the canal but ended up demolishing others which were not earmarked for the exercise.

Mr. Tagoe could not comprehend why the NDC, which promised to release Ga lands to them, was rather fighting hard to claim Ga lands.

He has thus asked government to put an end to the double standards and stick to its promise.

Municipal Chief Executive of Ga South Sheriff Dodoo was not on hand to answer questions, as phone calls the paper made to him went answered.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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