Several erected wooden structures at the Tamale Central Business District have been seized and destroyed Monday morning, by armed security men unleashed by the city Mayor, as he resumed his decongestion exercise.
About 15 armed soldiers, 10 policemen and over a dozen local task force were deployed, as early as 5 am to vacate all illegal occupants, including petty hawkers and traders from the streets, walkways of the Business District.
The exercise which began in May last year was halted after it drew controversy and nearly caused the Mayor his job. Hundreds of traders lost their properties during the exercise with local taskforce officers deployed to ensure compliance.
The traders complained about low sales at the markets provided by the metro assembly and also the high cost of market spaces at the Aboabo and Kukuo markets, hence, requested enough time to move.
The Regional Organizer of the party, Alhaji Salifu Rashid COP, and executives of Tamale South and Central constituencies spoke out publicly against the exercise and demanded a withdrawal.
Several press conferences were held against the Mayor by the NPP members, calling for his removal after he attempted to defy the demand to stop the exercise, which the mayor called “The Tamale Project”.
The Mayor was forced to withdraw the exercise following stiff opposition from regional party leaders, but after more than four months of consultations, he resumed the operation.
Addressing reporters before sanctioning the exercise, Musah Superior said public outcry and pressure from his political party compelled him to suspend the project.
“You recall that I suspended the project because of the outcry, there were a lot of complains and in fact I had an issue with my own political party; but you see, Nelson Mandela tells me that a good leader must step back a thousand times to listen to his people, that is why I stood back and stood down on the policy”, Superior explained.
“And the reason I stood back and stood down the policy was to re-engage with the chiefs and people and the Tamale citizens so that they can come along with me for us to do the job”.
Musah Superior said the exercise would sanitize the Business District and bring relief to vehicular movements.
He expressed delight about the massive support and cooperation shown by residents towards the exercise.
“The good news is that, they have understood me and every single Tamale resident wants this job to be done again and for me, it is an excitement and that is why the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly is out there to work with the people, shift them from the road, so that everybody would go about their business without inconvenience”, the mayor said.
“My vision is to make sure that Tamale is clean and decongested so that people can have peace to do their work and I have consistently in the last 14 months succeeded”.
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