Nkrumah Circle Hawkers Warn Akufo-Addo Against Harassment

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Hawkers, near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra, have already started threatening to vote against the New Patriotic Party (NPP), if the yet-to-be-sworn-in Nana Akufo Addo administration, dares to stop them from selling at the environs of the newly built edifice.

The traders say they had to vote against the National Democratic Congress (NDC), because of the harassment they had endured from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) headed by Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpujie.

The stern warning, comes after AMA taskforce storm the interchange to maintain law and order over reports that the traders after the elections immediately went and occupied spaces when news came that the NPP had won the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.

It seems clear that, the incoming Akufo Addo government, will have no honeymoon if there had been one in the past, because expectation with respect to job creation is high on the part of many unemployed Ghanaians.

The traders say, they are waiting for the promised jobs, because it was one of the reasons why they voted for the NPP and Nana Akufo.
According to the AMA, they had to stop the traders from hawking on the interchange to curb littering and the danger some human activities, will pose
to structure.

On Tuesday, the AMA, was reported to have stormed what has become known as “Accra Dubai” to ensure orderliness, but according to reports, they were chased out by the traders, who boasted that their “government had come to power”.

Judging from their few numbers, the taskforce, could not overpower them and so had to retreat and to return with a better plan.

Indeed, as at yesterday when The Herald visited the Interchange, some of the traders, were seen selling their wares at unapproved areas, while others obeyed the directive and distanced themselves from the lawns, but were selling at the edge of the pavements.

There was a general disrespect for the taskforce. Some of them kept warning the hawkers to move away, but they won’t heed. Others pretended they were not selling, but only resting near fire service and police station area under the interchange.

From observation, the AMA taskforce, has a herculean job as they were spotted everywhere near their interchange in their orange and blue back overall, directing traffic in some cases. Others also sat at vantage points to observe, who was going contrary to the directive.

Some of the traders who spoke in Twi dialect, Christmas is approaching and they need to make some money. They are, therefore, pleading to be allowed to sell until Nana Addo, is sworn in as president, January 7, 2017.

A lady who would give not give her name, but claim she is a widow with four children said, they would be better served if the AMA designated a proper place for them to hawk, as they can’t leave their wares and sell their bodies (prostitution) at this difficult times.

Another woman said “now we are suffering, but we have used our thumb to vote for Nana and so by January 7, he would be sworn-in as president, and will be expected to listen to the plight of the poor especially, parents. If he comes and he does otherwise, we shall use the same thumb to send him back to opposition where they came from”.

A cloth seller who gave her name only as Ama said, they would not have voted the NDC out of power, if they had left them alone to do their businesses.

According to her, the harassment by the AMA, was becoming too much for them, hence their decision to get the Mahama government out of power. She warned they would not hesitate to vote against the NPP, if they repeat the actions of the outgoing government.

It has been said that, the NDC apart from losing the Greater Accra Region, heavily lost in polling stations in and around the Kwame Nkrumah circle to the NPP, despite the importance of the interchange to these same traders and the general public.

But Accra Mayor, Alfred Okoe Vanderpujie, insists the action of the traders, were uncalled for, saying sanity needs to prevail in the area and the metropolis in general.

According to Dr. Vanderpujie, who granted an interview to Accra-based Ghone television station yesterday, despite the fact that the current government, has been voted out of power, it is still in-charge until January 7. He therefore justified the decision to deploy the taskforce into the area.

On Saturday, a day after Nana Addo was declared winner of last week’s elections, fanatics of the NPP, throng the interchange to demand for the keys to the rooms, where the statue of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is erected. The irate youth clad in NPP paraphernalia, locked up offices built to operate the interchange.

President Mahama’s posters around the interchange The Herald sighted, have been torn into pieces in similar fashion as the destruction of Dr. Nkrumah statue after the 1966 coup.

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