The Minister of State in charge of Security, Bryan Acheampong has revealed that the eviction of traders and artisans around the Nima Residence of the president is for security reasons.
The place which serves as business centre for food vendors, credit card sellers, beauty salons, drinking bars among others is said to be as close as 25 feet from the front gate of the president’s Nima home.
The Minister said, any property belonging to the president is a national security zone even if he does not use the property as such the necessary security measures need to be put in place.
Byran Acheampong was of the view that any property of the Nana Akuffo Addo, irrespective of where it is located and whether it is being used by him or not is a national security zone, and it would be a disaster if no permanent security arrangement is put in place since he is the President of the nation.
According to him, the Nima Residence has “high-value targets” who are family members of the president and their security cannot be taken for granted. The presence of the traders makes it difficult to assess persons within the area, the Minister explained.
But many citizens have criticised the relocation as needless because the president is not expected to live at his personal residence after he became a president but supposed to move to the Flagstaff House. They want the traders to be left alone.
In a press statement, the Minister for Information and Presidential Spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid revealed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has compensated all the traders with his personal money and not money from the State coffers.
Payments between 1,000 cedis and 12,000 cedis have been given to the businesses numbering about 30.
He said extensive consultations were undertaken between the office of the President, the National Security and the affected traders and artisans before the implementation of the decision. He denied allegations that only a week notice was given to the traders indicating that the leadership of the traders requested for six weeks grace period which was granted to them, beginning the last week in January.