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25 July 2017

Minister stops Eastern corridor road project after youth attack contractors

Northern regional minister Salifu Saeed has directed Andre’ Quadrez, the construction company working on the Bimbila – Yendi stretch of the  Eastern Corridor road project to suspend works immediately following heightened tensions on Monday between contractors and unemployed NPP youth in Yendi.
The angry youth who besieged the construction site, seized two trucks and other equipment after the company failed to lay off local artisans and employ them.
The minister hurriedly went to the area and held an ’emergency’ closed door meeting with the Municipal police chief before coming out to address the angry youth who were threatening to wreak mayhem on staff and equipments of the company for refusing to sack it current local staff who they said were members of the opposition National Democratic Congress party.
Kasapa News gathered that the jobless youth invaded the company site and took away the fleet and threatened to seized all equipments after several engagement with the company to recruit them since their power was in power were disregarded.
Sources said leadership of the party in the constituency led by the Municipal Chief Executive met with some senior staff of the company and told them to laid off all locals engaged during the previous administration and recruit their members.
The senior staff at that meeting, according to the sources, complained about financial challenge and also told them the Human Relations Department hasn’t sanctioned a fresh recruitment exercise.
The company through the senior contractors however suggested if the municipal assembly could make funds available in the meantime for the youth they were pushing to recruit.
 The assembly declined the counter appeal also citing insufficient funds and the matter was put to rest at that point without an agreement reached due to failure of conditions between the stakeholder, the sources added.
“The company also requested the MCE for funds to do fresh recruitment exercise if they so wish which the Chief executive said to have turned down  with the excuse of lack of funds in the Yendi Municipal Assembly”.
However, few days after the company resume work from a long break,  the youth observed it was still engaging “members of the NDC” which angered them to launch the attack.
A construction worker who doesn’t want to be named told Kasapa News the “violent” youth came and took two heavy trucks and other equipments belonging to the company and said they will return the tools when the company cooperate fully with their leadership.
A standoff later ensued at the police station after the youth besieged the place when the company came to file an official complaint.
Addressing the youth at the station, the regional minister called for calm and said contractors had been told to halt all activities until the issue is resolved.
 Hon. Saaed said he had already invited the company contractors to his office for a meeting at which a list of demands would be presented and they will be forced to stop work and evacuate if they refuse to go by
“Exercise restraint, the chairman and his followers. You have a delegate Congress tomorrow so on Wednesday I will invite the contractors to my office for us to solve the problem once and for all, but I have told the security to inform that no exercise should be carried on (stop recruiting and work), so that we can put our demands before them and if they agree with it they can continue but if they turn it down then we will terminate the contract”, Salifu Saeed threatened and received a spontaneous ovation from the youth.
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