… At Kanvili-Tunayili In Sagnarigu District
From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale
ESIDENTS of Kanvili-Tunayili, including the over 300 members of the Signs and Wonders Charismatic Church have been displaced by what they say is unannounced demolition exercise carried out by the Sagnarigu District Assembly.
The Angry residents are accusing the Assembly of being unfair in executing the sudden demolition exercise.
The Sagnarigu District Assembly demolished a number of individual properties along the main road, stretching from King David Junction through Kanvili to Tunayili to pave way for the construction of the road.
The road has been in very deplorable state for a very long time, and become highly unmotorable during raining seasons.
The Residents are apparently not much perturbed about the construction or tarring of the road, since it is also in their own interest, but they are rather furious about the Assembly’s inability to serve them with prior notice.
Badly hit by the “unannounced” demolition is the main Temple of the Signs and Wonders Charismatic Church, leaving the over 300 members without a place of worship.
In an interview with The Chronicle, the Founder and General Overseer of Signs and Wonders Charismatic Church, Rev. Nicholas Batu Supiir could not hide his extreme disappointment about the unusual manner the demolition exercise was carried out by the Sagnarigu District Assembly.
According to him, he was away in the Volta Region to visit one of his 42 branches, when his Associate Pastor called him that the District Assembly had come to demolish all structures along the road, including the Church Auditorium.
“When I asked whether the church leadership was notified by the Assembly or given prior notice, they said no, but they had come with bulldozers and that they had already started from King David side towards our church.
“So I told him that he should call the Assembly man to find out about the un-announced demolition exercise, but he called to tell me that the Assembly man had also travelled. So I decided to cut my trip short and in fact when I came, the whole church building had been razed down”.
Rev. Nicholas Batu Supiir complained that, several pleas for the driver to allow them pick their instruments, office equipment, remove roofing sheets and the electricity metre was fiercely prevented by the bulldozer driver.
One of the young Pastors, who braved the storm to enter the Church to pick the instruments and also remove the electricity metre, was eventually injured in the process when one of the blocks fell on the right side of his head and the shoulder.
The Reverend Minister insisted that the plot on which the Church auditorium was built had all the necessary documentations and approvals from the Lands Commission and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (before the Sagnarigu Assembly was carved out of it). He further insisted that he could confirm anywhere that his church was not built on the road.
“Even if I built the church in the road and the Assembly did not see me until I finished, at least it is human for the Assembly to write officially to me and if I refuse then they can send me to court. But all these processes were not followed, which makes the demolition exercise very illegal and a violation of our human rights”.
Rev. Nicholas Batu Supiir said that his focus was now how to put up a temporary structure to house the over 300 members, and then decide on what action to take against the Assembly.
Responding to the concerns raised by the residents and most especially the Reverend Minister, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sagnarigu, Alhassan Mohammed Sorogudoo sympathized with the
affected residents and rendered unqualified apology to them all. However, he said that the construction of the road was long overdue and inevitable for the assembly to carry out.
The DCE admitted that the Assembly actually could not give enough public notice before the exercise, but explained there was no way the Assembly could have allowed the interest of some few individuals to override that of the entire people in the community.
Mr. Sorogudoo said that the Assembly had been overburdened with calls from the community, demanding the immediate tarring of the deplorable road, hence the urgency his office attached to the project, when funds were made available for it.
He said that from past experience, the people in the district have proven to be difficult and uncompromising when even prior notices had been served to them, to pave way for projects to be executed.
Mr. Sorogudoo emphatically stated that the Assembly and for that matter government could not compensate any of the affected persons because of lack of funds, even though he was saddened by the inconveniences they might have been going through as a result of the demolition.
The road construction from King David to Tunayili is necessary to link the area to the urban district of Tamale.