Member of Parliament of the Odododiodoo, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye has expressed shock at residents of Old Fadama, who accused him of blaming chiefs of the area for the recent fire outbreak that they experienced.
The leadership of the chiefs in the area had faulted the MP for what they said was his ethnocentric and political explanation he gave about the inferno during a media interview.
According to them, the legislator had suggested that the fire outbreak was a deliberate ploy politically and tribally executed by people who wanted to forcefully evict their opponents from the land they occupied.
Clarifying his position on Eyewitness News, he said he never mentioned Zamramas and Dagombas as well a political party as suggested by the chiefs and people of the area.
“I am totally shocked and amazed. I don’t know whether the [spokesperson] heard what I said in the [interview]. I knew I said nothing like that. The interview asked me if I heard that, a woman set her husband and children ablaze. And I said no, there is no Dagomab woman will do that because she is disgruntled about the relationship. That will not happen but then, we should not focus on that alone, because there are other issues. The people have been complaining that some people are threatening them over the land and that if something has happened, we shouldn’t narrow it to a disgruntled woman but we should look beyond. I added that, since 2017, because some people think they are in power, they can take people’s rooms and stores and that is a fact. They had use power, authority and violence to do that at Old Fadama. This is what I said, I never mentioned anybody’s name or any tribe. I wouldn’t do that”, he explained.
Citi News‘ independent checks on the said media interaction showed that the MP neither mentioned the chiefs nor any ethnic group for the incident but cited similar occurrences in the past and admitted that he was strongly convinced that the inferno was the dealings of some powerful forces who wanted to reclaim the land from the residents.
What the chiefs believed
But it is unclear how the chiefs arrived at their conclusion on the matter and accused the MP of sowing seeds of discord amongst them.
They say, they will not have any of the MPs comments insisting that the remarks were meant to create tribal divisiveness and hamper their already peaceful co-existence.
A spokesperson for the chiefs said:
“The most affected people are the Zamrama people but what is baffling the chiefs is that, since the incident happened, the MP has not stepped foot here. He only came here today after he made some allegations on another station that the Dagomba people here are threatening to take over the lands that have been burnt down by the Zamrama people. The chiefs and leaders are baffled because what the MP said is never and can never be true and is not true”.
“We co-exist here and we know how we live. But whatever the MP said, he rolled in politics. But this is not the time to be doing politics after people have lost their livelihoods. There is a lockdown and people need places to sleep. So if unfortunately, an event like this has happened, he doesn’t have to be on national television saying this. I don’t even know if what he said was well thought through. He said the chiefs and leaders want to take over the land of the Zamamra people from them which is in fact not true. It is a lie. He said it empathetically that it is the NPP youth who caused the fire for the chiefs to take over the land”, he said.
Fire ravages Fadama
Countless residents of Old Fadama are homeless after fire swept through the slum destroying hundreds of structures.
The fire started around 2 AM on Tuesday and destroyed properties according to eyewitnesses.
Adam Kadir, a resident of the area, noted on Eyewitness News that Fire Service personnel were not called in quickly enough to contain the spread of the fire.
He recounted the destruction which he said may have started because of a fight between a couple.
“When they called me I quickly rushed there around 2:30 am. On reaching there, I went to meet ashes because there was nothing left. Several houses were destroyed.”
“I am told it is because of the confusion between a man and a woman.”
One the affected residents, Adam Kadir said “they will just put up tents and they will sleep there.”
Old Fadama is an urban slum area home to a lot of scrap dealers and head porters also known as kayayei.
Most of the kayayei have left the area back to the north “due to the lockdown” according to Adam Kadir.
The post I never made disparaging comments about Old Fadama residents – Nii Lante appeared first on Citinewsroom - Comprehensive News in Ghana, Current Affairs, Business News , Headlines, Ghana Sports, Entertainment, Politics, Articles, Opinions, Viral Content.Read Full Story