We’ll turn the city over – Traders threaten demo over stalled K’si central market project
The Combined Kumasi Central Market Traders Union (CKCMTU) has called on the government to continue the phase II of the Kumasi market redevelopment project.
The union, which has indicated that some of its members who could not afford to relocate to the Race Course – where the market currently sits – are still home hence losing out on their source of livelihood, is demanding the government finish the project as planned.
At a press conference held in Kumasi, Tuesday, 28 March 2023, the union demanded answers to why the project had been stalled.
The Secretary to the Combined Central Market Traders Association, Ms Emelia Koffiet, said: "After December 2022, we have observed that things have come to a halt. There is no work going on at the site as observed in the past few months. From January 2023 to this time March 2023, as we talk, we have been told that the workforce on the site has been drastically reduced and this information is coming to us from a very reliable source.”
Indicating that phase I of the construction of the market was completed under former President John Dramani Mahama, which is now the Kejetia City market, the union questioned why the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government which showed commitment to completing phase II has stalled the project.
“Why is the NPP, who has decided to do the phase II of the new construction, not working on it? Do we, as stakeholders, not deserve to be told do we not deserve to get an explanation for why the market has been halted?
“Are we to sit aloof and watch as things happen because we have examples we have seen the Kofrom market coming to a standstill for years? Are we to sit down and watch as the Kumasi market also comes to a standstill while people remain in the house jobless, while our kids are not going to school?” the secretary of the union quizzed.
The union stressed that it wanted the project to continue in order to protect the source of livelihood of its members.
“We want the work to continue and continue now,” it said.
It, therefore, called on the government to give its members reasons for stalling the project, because some of its members are home awaiting the completion of the market to go back and do their business.
“We’re calling on the NPP government to answer to us,” the secretary of the union stressed.
The union further cautioned the NPP parliamentary and flagbearer aspirants against campaigning in the market when the government has refused to provide them with answers on why phase II of the construction project had stalled.
The union’s secretary stated: “Kumasi is trade, trade is Kumasi. This is our livelihood. We demand answers from them. If they are not ready to give us answers, then nobody should come here to campaign.
“We have had them coming in to show themselves to us as prospective flagbearers; if they do not need our support, they wouldn’t be here. If they need our support then we also need them to work. We need them and we need them now," he emphasised.
The union pleaded with the land owners; the overlord of Ashanti, to step in and intervene on their behalf.
It also threatened to embark on a demonstration should government fail to provide it with answers.
“We do not want to organise demonstrations but if we do not hear from the people who should be responsible for this as soon as possible then we have done it before we can do it again.
“We are going to organise series upon series of demonstrations to send our grievances to the government. If that is what they want to see then we will get that done. We will turn the city over. We will turn the region over. We will turn the nation over if that is what it will take to get them to answer us,” the union’s secretary added.
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