Traders at the Nana Afia Kobi Market are up in arms against the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) over plans to relocate some commercial vehicles bound for the Western Region to Adehyie and Acheamfour Markets.
According to the traders, such move would negatively affect their businesses because the market is still developing and therefore requires such long-distance drivers to attract people to the market.
Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi yesterday, the traders accused the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Osei Assibey Antwi, of jeopardizing the lives of the traders by attempting to forcibly relocate a section of the drivers from the market.
Ms Janet Boamah, spokesperson of the traders, told the media that the plan formed part of a grand scheme by the mayor to collapse the market and make life unbearable for them.
She said the market had been abandoned by the KMA despite taking levies and tolls from the traders, citing poor sanitary conditions, insecurity and poor lighting as major problems at the facility.
However, KMA denied the accusations, insisting that the press conference of the traders was borne out of misinformation because no such decision had been made.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of KMA, Godwin Kumah Nyame, stated that the KMA has not taken any decision to relocate drivers at the Afia Kobi Market except to enforce an agreement between them and 24 transport unions operating in the metropolis.
He explained that the executives of the transport unions and the KMA had agreed at a joint stakeholders’ meeting on April 9, 2018 to conduct their businesses solely at designated terminals in order to tackle vehicular congestion and ensure sanity in public transport business.
According to him, the agreement also covers intra-city vehicles (trotros).
“These vehicles must have the name of the transport union they belong to conspicuously embossed on them and the destination board displayed as a requirement,” he asserted.
Mr Nyame said the KMA, as a result of challenges at the Nana Afia Kobi Market, had set up a management team to help address some of the problems to bring comfort to the traders.
He indicated that a decision had been taken by KMA to meet the angry traders to address their concerns.