Some hawkers who sell at the toll booths on the Accra Tema Motorway say the governing National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) risks losing their votes in the upcoming polls if city authorities eject them from the area.
The hawkers who ply their trade along the busy highway claim that they are forced to sell on the motorway due to the lack of jobs in the country.
The hawkers mainly sell to drivers, passengers and the toll booth attendants. They sell everything from edibles like plantain chips, ice cream, bread and household items like tissue paper.
They seem unperturbed about the danger of trading at the peril of their lives.
“People do not have enough money these days, because after deducting your expenses, you are left with just a small fraction of money which cannot be enough to fend for yourself; I know it is dangerous to be selling here but I cannot stay home and starve and even if it means been ran over by a car in my quest to get some money to fend for myself, its better but God will not let it be so’’ Maame Yaa, a peanut seller told Citi News.
For Kwabena Appiah, who sells plantain chips, the unavailability of a designated place for selling coupled with the unemployment situation has forced them on the streets where they try to make ends meet. He told Citi News: “We won’t get anywhere else to sell our stuff should the authorities sack us from here; I cannot go and sit in the market, this is the only place I can stand and sell’’
He revealed that the Mayor of Accra tried sacking them from the area but failed.
For Kofi who also sells chips, their selling at the toll booth is rather a benefit to most drivers who ply that stretch of road.
“The market these days is no longer lucrative, If I had finished school and working now, it would have been good, much better than this hot scorching sun that we find ourselves in’’ he lamented.
He told Citi News, their wares have been seized several times by the municipal assembly leading to loss of revenue.
Blackmail or not?
As the elections draw closer, most of the traders are threatening to vote out the current administration should there be any attempts to sack them from the toll booths.
“As for the elections, we now know what’s happening because it is not the adults who will be voting, majority of the voters are we the youth , we can only vote for them when we see a change in the economy’’ said plantain chips seller Kwabena Appiah.
Most of the traders who spoke to Citi News dared the municipal assembly to try sacking them and risk losing their votes.
“They can never eject us from this place after all they haven’t created enough jobs for us to benefit from and even when they do such jobs are always created outside the country so they dare not try it”, Esther, a tissue paper seller told Citi News.
For Maame Akyia, who sells iced water, the hardship in the economy was taking a toll on her finances as she’s had to take on more to cater for her children. She was however to quick to add that, she will resist any attempts by the authorities to eject them from the area.
She however had some advice for the Electoral Commission (EC) saying “I will surely vote in this year’s elections but the EC must be extra diligent in their work this year because we are very serious, we cannot be working for people to take the glory; we don’t want any situation where there is
chaos because someone slept on the job’’
Meanwhile efforts to reach the Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly for comments on this development were not successful.