Close to a hundred store owners at Labone Junction in Accra could not hold back their tears when they woke up Thursday morning to realize that their stores have been demolished and the contents destroyed by armed men believed to be from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The store owners told Daily Guide that officials of AMA came to them Wednesday evening around 5:30pm and asked that they should vacate the place within 24 hours.
�We asked them to give us time because 24 hours is too short a notice and they said okay, but we came this morning only to realise they have come to destroy the stores together with its contents even without allowing us to pack our goods. They did this from midnight to dawn under the cover of darkness and they expect us to smile because we do not value the capital we have invested in the business we do here,� Akwesi who has a store in the affected area narrated.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the AMA, Nuumo Blafo, however, expressed surprise at the allegation and told Daily Guide Labone did not fall within AMA�s jurisdiction.
�Greater Accra has been demarcated and as you already know, Labone does not fall under AMA. If indeed the demolition task force came from our assemby then that would amount to trespassing. I suggest you check from La Dadekotopon. They have jurisdiction of that area�, Nuuma Blafo explained.
Meanwhile the affected traders and store owners insist it is officials of the AMA who come to them for ground rent and other dues. They revealed that each store owner paid an amount ranging between GHC400 to GHC800 per annum to the AMA.
They affected persons disclosed further that sometime in October, officials from the AMA advised them to reposition their stores so as to create some buffer zone or free space between them and the roadside.
�We respected the directive and they came to inspect and said it was okay. All was fine until they came on Wednesday to ask us to leave the area only for them to come at midnight to destroy our stores, our goods and render us jobless and bankrupt a few weeks to Christmas when we expect to make some good sales,� Akwasi stated.
The affected stores were hitherto lined up on both sides of the road that stretches from the northern side of Labone Junction on the Ring Way, all through to the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Basic School Junction.
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