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Tension at Agbogbloshie as construction of a hostel for Kayayei begins

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Tension at Agbogbloshie as construction of a hostel for Kayayei begins

Traders, commercial drivers and truck drivers, numbering over 3,000 who ply their trade at the Western Regional market and lorry station in Agbogbloshie market in Accra are on the verge of losing their sources of livelihood as the market is allegedly being taken over by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for the construction of hostels and toilets for head porters (Kayayei) in Accra.

Currently, digging of the foundation is ongoing in more than half of the land for the commencement of the project.

The traders and drivers say they have lived on that parcel of land for over 40 years now, only for them to come to work on Monday to realise their properties on the land have been destroyed.

Five vehicles that were stationed on the land at the time of the operation were towed to the office of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The drivers say they had to pay GH¢5,000 each before they were released to them.

They had no option than to call on two of their Members of Parliaments, Dorcas Affo-Toffey for Jomoro and Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah for Ellembelle for assistance.

Jomoro MP Dorcas Affo-Toffey met the aggrieved traders at the Western Regional lorry station

At a meeting with the traders and drivers in Accra, Madam Affo-Toffey explained that when she had the call on their ejection without notification, she called the Greater Accra Region Minister, Henry Quartey, who denied knowledge of the ejection.

She said the Minister told her the place does not fall under his jurisdiction, but rather the mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey.

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She assured that what is happening to them is also affecting her and, therefore, she will do all she can to get to the bottom of the the issue and even if the land would be taken, there would be a reallocation for them.

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“What the government wants to do by building a hostel and toilet on the land is not a bad idea, but not giving prior notice and no relocation plan for the drivers and traders is the challenge,” Madam Affo-Toffey said in Twi.

Dorcas Affo-Toffey

She noted that over 2,000 women are trading on that parcel of land and as such if such land is taken away from them, they cannot cater for their families since women are the ones that take care of the home.

“If the government is doing such things for the Kayayei, then traders and drivers also need a befitting place to do their business and not to push them away.”

She promised to meet the mayor of Accra for an amicable resolution of the issue.

A retired Army Officer, Brigadier-General Nana Adu, who is also a truck owner operating at the station, said he does not understand why the government must take such as action.

He admitted that the government can take the land for such development but taking it by force is not the right way.

He said there should have been an engagement with the people in order for peace to prevail.

Brigadier-General Adu said there should have been an arrangement where the occupiers would be taken to but for the government to until Friday, when the place was calm, storm there with police and military to take over is not the right way.

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“We know the army and the police are controlled by the government and so the moment these people came to take over the place for the construction of the project, we are convinced the government has a hand in it.”

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National Secretary for Coconut Oil Dealers Association J. B. Gbolor, called for injunction on the project until the determination of the matter.

He said day-in and day-out, the contractor is bringing construction equipment unto the land which is not in their interest.

The Chairman of the Drivers Union who gave his name as Life explained that the station receives trucks from Ivory Coast and Nigeria with goods and as such taking over the place would affect such businesses.

He said with what has happened, all the women are stranded and that is going to affect them.

The Chairman said those who came were with violence but they do not want any violence and so they want amicable resolution of the issue.

Some of the traders called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia, whose name is being mentioned, to halt the project since the place is their livelihood.



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