We have learnt that traders and shop owners who ply their trades around the private residence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at Nima, Accra, are unhappy.
The development follows a one-week ultimatum given to the traders by the National Security to vacate the place after government disclosed that the traders have been compensated with amounts ranging from GHC 3,000-GHC10,000.
The reason why the traders are being compelled to leave the area is because of security considerations.
The area was declared a security zone immediately after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, then presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), won the 2016 presidential election.
We have also heard the explanation from the government that the traders had earlier been extensively engaged before this eviction notice.
“It is important to note that extensive consultations had been held between the office of the President, National Security and the traders and artisans before the implementation of this decision,” Information Minister and President’s spokesperson, Mustapha Abdul Hamid, disclosed this in the wake of the public debate over the issue.
So, it means that right from day one, government, and for that matter the Presidency, had been engaging the traders to ensure that they peacefully leave the vicinity.
Today must state categorically that we are not in anyway opposed to the government’s decision to evict the traders and artisans around the residence of our president.
Indeed we are in total support of the move by the National Security to make the president’s residence safe from any potential harm and attack.
However, what Today does not seem to comprehend is why in recent times our presidents refuse to live and work at the Flagstaff House—which is the official seat of government.
It is something that is baffling to those of us at Today.
This is an edifice that we have invested hugely in, but yet our Presidents only choose to spend few hours there and instead more time in their residences.
It happened during the regimes of former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, late Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, Mr John Dramani Mahama and currently, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
I fact, the actions of our former presidents and the current one seem to suggest that there could possibly be something that Ghanaians are unaware so far as the Flagstaff House is concerned.
This is something that we on this paper are finding it difficult to understand.
In our view it is about time that those we elected as Presidents know that they are mandated to live and work in the Flagstaff House. This should be non-negotiable!
Working and staying in the private residences is an extra cost, which obviously will be borne by the state.
THIS is money that could have been channelled to providing social amenities for deprived communities.
We hope that our current President—Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo—will help change this status quo.
However, on the issue of the eviction, Today is appealing to the authorities to add a human face to the exercise, and those who deserve adequate compensation should be given.