Deputy Roads Minister, Anthony Karbo has brushed aside media reports of an altercation between him and officials of an excavator company.
News that the Lawra Member of Parliament had engaged in fisticuffs with some persons at the construction of a second tunnel connecting East Legon and Spintex, broke on social media on Monday and spread like wildfire.
However, responding to the claims on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Anthony Karbo stated that the reports on the incident were misleading.
“I woke up this morning to see videos on social media claiming that I was in some street rage but I was not, I was protecting my Minister,” he said.
According to him, an initially amicable discussion between the Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako Atta and the owners of the excavator companies turned sour when the companies were asked by the former to relocate.
Karbo claims that the owners attacked the Minister both verbally and physically leading to an altercation with some members of the Minister’s security detail.
“The road corridor belongs to the Ghana Highway Authority. Anyone who puts up any structure within the road corridor is a squatter. After visiting the site and getting a briefing from the contractor, said that in two weeks [the contractor] needs to move to the next section but those excavators parked there will create a problem. When I walked in with the Minister, fortunately, we realised that we knew some of the people. So in a very lively environment, we spoke and had a good time and then the Minister decided the addressed the situation and stated that we have given them two weeks to move,” he narrated.
“After the Minister made those comments, it didn’t go well with the owners. I don’t know what came over the man but he started attacking, insulting and assaulting the Minister. It’s impossible for an ordinary citizen to attack a Minister without a reaction from the Police. The bodyguard of the Minister invited the [East Legon] Police who arrested the people, we have nothing to do with it anymore.”
The Ministry for Roads and Highways has given two excavator companies a two-week ultimatum to relocate.
According to the Ministry, the operations of the two companies, Atpage Limited and Ottis Equipment Company, are impeding work on the site.
Karbo confirmed in an earlier interview with Citi News, that the Minister had directed that the excavators be moved in “two weeks, by which time one side would have been done for the contractor to move to the other.”
He stated that the presence of the excavators on the site was hindering the work of the contractors, adding that the directive was necessary despite discussions between the owners of the companies, the contractors and officials of the Highway Authority.
“Our understanding is that the [owners of the companies] have been written to, there have been series of discussions between the Ghana Highway Authority and the owners of the heavy-duty machines. We came to inspect and it appears the contractors themselves have also had their discussions with them in respect of their work plan,” he said.