Kejetia traders protest against market demolition

Some of the traders at Kejetia demonstrating.Photo.Godwin Ofosu AcheampongTraders at the Kejetia lorry park in Kumasi yesterday demonstrated against the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly’s (KMA) decision to demolish the terminal for a facelift project.

The KMA, last week, announced the relocation of the traders and drivers to some designated markets and lorry stations to pave way for project to be started next month.

However, the traders, at a press briefing at the terminal yesterday, denied being given any alternative location and said the manner the city Mayor, Kojo Bonsu, was handling the issue would result in a number of them losing their sources of livelihood.

Mr Andrew Pobi, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the traders association, said “We are not against development. What we are kicking against is the injustice to the thousands of traders who earn their living through legitimate trade at Kejetia. What we are kicking against is dishonesty, corruption, greed, financial malfeasance and abuse of power by government appointees”.

He said the hullabaloo about the resettlement was a complete farce and did not exist.

‘’It is repugnant to hear people of honour lie to the public in an attempt to win public sympathy so as to enrich the pocket of a few”, he said.

He said parliament had approved 298 million dollars for the re-construction of the Central Market and did not understand why the KMA was leaving that project to tackle the distinct Kejetia terminal which, according to them, had not received any parliamentary approval.

They said they could not wholly trust the KMA on the project since MR Bonsu had withheld vital information of the project.

Whilst they claimed that the KMA’s PRO, Godwin Okuma Nyame, also quotes varied figures as project sum on several media platforms.

“The Mayor claims he has secured a funding from the Dutch Bank for the project. At least, we know that parliament approved the funding for the Central Market. But, there is none for the purported Kejetia project which the Mayor is trying to force down our throat”, he said.

“We consider this as connivance to injustice by the Mayor and his partners to the detriment of the people in Kumasi and everything within our right would be done to nip it in the mud. The pugnacious posture of Mayor Bonsu in this atmosphere of peace is only going to add to the street a lot of unemployment and give birth to public nuisance,” he said.

Mr. Pobi said the terminal, unlike the central market, had never experienced any fire outbreaks to warrant its immediate demolition and stressed that the Mayor’s desire to build ten thousand stores at the place defeated the park’s identity as a lorry terminal.

They demanded the report on a feasibility study on the lorry park in 2011, and also required why the KMA in 2012, caused the 32 stores opposite the Police Station to be renovated when they knew about the current project.

Earlier, the KMA said the three-phased project would be executed by the Brazilian firm, Contracta.

According to Mr Okumah Nyame, the KMA Public Relations Officer (PRO), the Kejetia project had been part of the entire project including the central market and that ‘’I am surprised they are saying the Kejetia project had not been part’’.

He said three locations, Abinkyi, Adhyeman and Sofoline markets, had been released for the relocation adding that not all the traders were going to be relocated but only those within the terminal and had been affected.

According to the Mr Okumah Nyame, come what may, the project would take off and added that the Assembly would ensure that no rightful shop or stall owner would be negatively affected after the completion of the project.


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