Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyapong has said any criticism of the President over his decision to stay in his private residence is unjustified. According to him, the president is right in his decision.
He cited examples of former presidents of Ghana who also chose to stay in their private residence, with extra national security protection without public hullabaloo. He said late Prof Mills barricaded some section of Regimanuel estates while Mahama’s Dzorwulu residence saw security beefed up in the whole vicinity.
On the compensation of the traders: “I have no problem if the president has started compensating them (traders and artisans). The president is a sympathetic person, I know. I personally believe it is not wrong for him to compensate them though I’m very sure that he didn’t initially intend to relocate them but I think it’s about time he takes his security seriously”, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong said, speaking on Adom TV’s Badwam yesterday.
“He has his own private house he wants to live in. You can’t be diabolic about this issue, Felix”, he chastised his co-panelist, NDC’s Felix Kwakye Ofosu.
“Why did you block the roads around Mahama’s house? Even Mahama was living in two government houses- he was occupying two government properties. Flagstaff House and the other one. Akufo-Addo is using his own private house”, he added.
The Minister responsible for Information, Dr. Mustapha Hamid had earlier issued a statement explaining the circumstances surrounding the eviction of the President’s neighbours and the various steps taken to cater for their welfare.
The statement revealed that prior to President Akufo-Addo assuming the presidency, there was a taxi rank around his residence owners of whom moved away on their own volition considering the national security implications of their operations around the residence.
On the movement of the artisans and traders, the statement emphasized that there was broad consultation between all parties involved- the artisans and traders, National Security and the Office of the President, Dr. Hamid revealed that the leadership of the Traders and Artisans even asked for six weeks grace-period which government acquiesced to, beginning from the last week of January this year.
The statement said: “It is important to note that extensive consultations were undertaken between the Office of the President, National Security, and the traders and artisans, before the implementation of this decision. It is completely false that only a week’s notice was given to the traders and artisans to move from their current location. Indeed, the leadership of the artisans and traders requested for a six-week grace-period from National Security, beginning from the last week of January 2018, to enable them to move. Clearly, this request has been met”
The statement said National Security will continue with the exercise in a manner that respects the rights and welfare of the traders.