4 injured as protesting drivers clash with soldiers in K’si

Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister

Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister

There was pandemonium at Pampaso, near Kejetia market, following a clash between a group of drivers (Alliance Drivers Association) and the military over their (drivers) relocation.

The military fired warning shots to disperse the drivers who accused the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) of sabotaging them.

Four of the drivers got injured as they were reported to have been allegedly beaten by the personnel, while a vehicle, Mercedes Benz with registration number GR 4160-17, had its windshield smashed.

The injured were named as John Ocrah, Kwabena Dwomo, Dennis Osei Kwabena and Robert Kwabena.

They were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for treatment.

The drivers are to be relocated to the Nana Afia Kobi Serwa Ampem II Market, following the reopening of roads to the Kejetia Market on Monday.

Yesterday’s incident was as a result of the refusal of the drivers who load passengers from Pampaso to Bibiani, Sefwi, Accra, Sunyani, Houston, Techiman, Obuasi and Cape Coast, among, others.

Eye witnesses told the Ghanaian Times that the drivers were asked to leave the place on Monday which they complied only to resurface yesterday to do business.

When this reporter got to the scene, 10 pellets fired by the military, were found on the ground.

The association’s secretary, Bismark Adjei Bekoe, maintained that they would not leave the place as it did not belong to the KMA, stressing “we are prepared to match the military boot for boot”.

According to Mr Adjei they started operating at the place in 1962 and so “we are not prepared to leave today or tomorrow “.

After four years of human and vehicular congestion in the Kumasi Central Market and its environs due to the closure of the roads leading to the Kejetia market, the KMA finally opened the roads to traffic on Monday.

These include the road linking Kejetia to Dr Mensah, Pampaso to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital roundabout and Kejetia to Suame roundabout.

The decision followed a failed attempt by the city authorities to open the roads in December 2018 to ease the congestion during the Christmas and New Year festivities after hawkers failed to evacuate the pavement to the 34 satellite markets provided by the assembly.

However, KMA cautioned hawkers and the public to refrain from selling and buying activities around the Kejetia market as the opening of the roads to traffic was not the official opening of the Kejetia Market.

Earlier, the Public Relations Officer of the Assembly, Mr Godwin Okumah Nyame, said the Assembly was deploying a combined team of military and police on site to make sure nobody would sell around the new Kejetia market.

According to him, the 34 satellite markets which include the Race Course, Serwaa Kobi, Kwadaso, Atonsu markets among others were set up to move hawkers who were selling on pavements and streets of the central market in order to reduce the congestion.

He rejected accusations by some hawkers and traders that their stores and spaces at some of the satellite markets had been re-sold to other people by the KMA and that those claims were lies as they (hawkers and traders) want to use that as excuse to sell on pavements and the streets of the market.

However, Mr Nyame was not certain on exactly when the Kejetia market would be opened for operation in spite of it being certified by the National Disaster Management Organisation for opening after a successful safety assessment of the facility in January 2019.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI

email
Print Friendly
RELATED POST :

Leave a Comment