Some residents at Jerusalem City, a suburb of Oyarifa in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly (LANMA), have registered their anger over the decision of the Assembly to demolish their buildings.
The residents said they were displeased because even with valid permits for their structures built for years, the Assembly was still going ahead to pull them down.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) some of the affected residents said the location of their properties had not restricted the movements of vehicles and persons as perceived by the Assembly.
Also, they explained that, they were asked to move 30 feet backwards after some had started putting up their buildings, for which they obliged and after some years they had been asked again to move 20 feet backwards again.
They described as baffling the action of the Assembly and asked for explanation as to why they were to leave a fifty feet lane within a residential area.
Mr. Daniel Agyekum, whose building was also marked for removal, told the GNA that he moved in to his house two years ago and that what he was witnessing was news to him.
He said “This is something I’m seeing and hearing for the first time. Authorities at LANMA said they would demolish our buildings because of a court order. This is a lane and not a major road and I think it’s a deliberate ploy to inure someone’s benefit at the expense of all.”
According to him, systems don’t work in Ghana explaining that, he used to be under the Abokobi Assembly until it was divided and wondered if there are changes if there’s a division in the Assembly.
Another affected resident, Mr. Norbert Amefu whose house is close to that of a Fire Service personnel whose building is the bone of contention said that when he first bought the land in 2002, he acquired his building permit under the Amasaman Assembly but was unable to start his building.
“When I was ready to start my building, I was told the district has been moved to Abokobi. When I went to Abokobi with the same site plan, I was told I was on the lane so I had to break the fence wall to move back. The building was inspected and I was told I can continue with my building.
“I was here recently when authorities from the LANMA came to the area that, someone has taken them (LANMA) to court stating that they have to demolish structures. I was astonished because I have my building permit intact.”
He appealed to the Regional Town and Council planner to get involved in the issue because they are confused with recent happenings.
However, when the GNA contacted the Head of Physical Planning at LANMA Mr. Offei Kumi, explained that the Assembly received a court order which stated that buildings on access roads should be demolished, adding that he requested the residents to produce their building permits but none adhered to it.
According to him, only Mr. Amefu produced his building permit and a request for a detailed permit proved futile.
Mr Kumi added that, per the judgment they are supposed to remove structures on access roads by February 22.
He advised individuals and corporate entities to ensure they have their building permit to prevent such misfortunes.