Scores of buildings located around the Central Mosque at Kawukudi in the Ayawaso East Municipality of Accra, were pulled down Tuesday (March 21), rendering hundreds of people homeless.
The demolition was carried out by the Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly (AEMA), led by the police.
The move is to clear "the illegal occupants" of the land, which is sandwiched between the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) and the Nima-Maamobi Community Library, close to the National Mosque.
Eyewitnesses said the exercise started at dawn when the residents of the area were still asleep.
When Graphic Online got to the area around 8:30 am, about 200 structures, including motor repair shops, containers and food vending facilities, had been reduced to rubble.
Victims of the demolition exercise, including women with babies strapped to the backs, were seen trying to salvage some items from the rubble.
Armed police officers numbering over 30, were seen providing security.
An eye-witness, Rafik Seidu, told Graphic Online's Timothy Ngnenbe that the demolition exercise started around 5:30am.
"I went to the mosque to pray, and when I finished and came out I saw people running out of their rooms. Some of them had towels around their waist and others wore only shorts, because they were still sleeping when the demolition started," he said.
"Some people said they want to clear the area and use it for a police station, but I do not know if that is true," he added.
No comment from ASMA
It is not clear what the purpose of the demolition exercise was as the AEMA failed to speak to Graphic Online.
The residents of the area gave three different accounts for the demolition.
Some of the residents of the area said the land had been sold to a church so they were being ejected to pave the way for the church to develop the land.
Others said it was being cleared to be used for a police station while another group said the structures were being cleared because of the National Mosque.
However, efforts made by Graphic Online to get clarification from the AEMA was fruitless as the officials remained tight-lipped.