Rawlings vows to demolish Alhaji Yusif's $5m-dollar hotel again if given chance

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has said he has no regrets demolishing a $5-million hotel which belonged to Entrepreneur and Executive Chairman of the Dara Salaam Group, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim, decades ago.

Former President Jerry John Rawlings and Yusif Ibrahim

He said he had the urge to demolish the hotel again if he could reverse the hand of time.

"If time were reversible, I would do it again and again and I would take along their new gargantuan structures in the watercourses. The structures were reported by his own respectable, law-abiding neighbours," he stated.

Hotel demolished

The hotel was pulled down by the military under the watching eyes of city authorities on April 12, 1999.

Insiders then had intimated that the demolition was the result of political differences between the owner, Alhaji Yusif and Jerry Rawlings.

Owners of the Pier Hotel subsequently dragged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to court for wrongful action but only after the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) had left the political scene in the wake of their electoral defeat in 2000.

Alhaji Yusif then demanded $28,944,000 for the cost of the building in addition to accrued interest for eight years, before settling on $12 million on what he described as a nominal amount.

Rawlings speaks at June 4

Rawlings addressing supporters to climax the 40th anniversary of the June 4 Uprising on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at Nungua, he said Alhaji Ibrahim "is in no position to forgive anyone or anything, not even the bush rat in his hometown. God had nothing to do with unlawful structures; neither did he have anything to do with enforcing the law. Governments appear to exercise no restraint when it comes to breaking down poor people’s structures in watercourses or unauthorised areas."

Alhaji Yusif forgives Rawlings

The successful investor cum entrepreneur, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim earlier said he has forgiven Rawlings under whose administration his $5 million hotel was demolished.

In his autobiography, he narrated how Rawlings demolished his plush hotel in 1999.

He said "I'm not angry with Rawlings. I'm never angry with anybody. I know that whatever happens to me is determined by God, or God says it will happen. So I don't have anything against Rawlings. I’ve no choice but to forgive him; the Quran says we should forgive and forget."

The business magnate, Alhaji Yusif Ibrahim who owns a number of firms that operate under the Dara Salam Group of Companies speaking about the issue publicly for the first time in nearly 20 years in an interview on the Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV, said he has long forgiven Rawlings for demolition his hotel.


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