Tension mounts at Akwatialine wood market over plans to move sellers to new location
Tension has mounted at Akwatialine wood market as the Wood Sellers’ Association has threatened to resist every attempt to move them from the place by the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly.
The Association has accused the Assembly of making plans to evict its members in the area from the parcel of land being used as the wood market without their knowledge.
Barely two weeks ago, someone got hospitalised in a clash between the police and the traders while dozens were arrested.
The Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly stormed the area with the Anti Robbery Unit of the Ghana Police Service to evict them to give way for the construction of stores by a private developer.
A visit to the area by the Ghanaian Times saw the about 300 metres stretch of land fenced with aluminium sheets by the private developer.
According to the Secretary of the Association, Mohammed Umar, it had taken them by surprise to see the place fenced off while traders still have their goods in there.
He explained that following the clash between the traders and police, the Assembly called for a dialogue to resolve the matter.
But while the issue was being discussed, he said, “we came to work today, only to see the place fenced, but we will not give in to that.”
“The Assembly is asking us to vacate a place we have lived for over 50 years to pave way for construction of new stores, and we are demanding that they give us a place to relocate our businesses.”
The assembly is yet to show us where to go, and all of a sudden they brought heavily armed policemen to beat and evict us forcefully…and now the place is fenced off.”
“Until the Assembly relocates us, we are not moving an inch,” he declared, and called on authorities in the region to as a matter of urgency resolve the matter and find a place to relocate them.
Efforts to contact the Assembly for comments did not yield any result .
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI