DESPERATE ATTEMPTS by some sympathizers of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to take over public facilities in Kumasi still lingers on in spite of overwhelming public condemnation, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
The latest facility in the Garden City to fall prey to this attack is a small portion of the Asafo Market located opposite the NDC regional office at Asafo, a suburb of Kumasi.
Some NDC activists at the regional office are reportedly preventing members of the Asafo Containers Association (ACA) from occupying the space temporarily until the reconstruction of the market is complete.
According to Clement Mensah, chairman of the association, they had to vacate their original place in the market to enable the much talked about rebuilding of the market to commence in earnest.
Not knowing where to relocate, he said they made a request to the Subin Sub-Metro for a temporary place to carry on with their business until the upgrading of the market was complete.
The Subin Sub-Metro officials, Mensah said, granted them their request and asked his outfit to search for a suitable place around the market where they could transact their business and inform them afterwards.
He noted that when they found the place in question and informed officers at the Subin sub-metro, they subsequently gave approval to them to occupy the place temporarily till the constructional work at the market was complete.
Elated about the development, the chairman indicated that his members quickly invested several hundreds of Ghana cedis to prepare the place in order to relocate for business operations to begin.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Because the place was bushy and abandoned for so long a time, my members had to spend huge sums of money to prepare the grounds to make the relocation possible.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said to their chagrin, when they began relocating to the new place, some adherents of the NDC from the party office confronted them and wanted to know who ordered them to move the location.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When we told them that the Subin sub-metro gave us the directive to occupy the place temporarily till the rebuilding of the market was complete, they fumed and retorted that they would not allow it,Ã¢â‚¬Â the chairman stated.
According to Mensah, the said NDC activists categorically stated that they would not allow the relocation exercise to go on because they wanted to use the place as a car park to enable their officers have a place to park their cars when they come to the office.
The NDC operatives pointed out that when they wanted that same parcel of land during the era of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) they could not get it, therefore they would not allow anybody to trespass on the land now that their party was in government.
Mensah continued that when they came back to continue the relocation exercise the next day, the NDC sympathizers, without authorization, had written boldly on a wall, Ã¢â‚¬Å“keep off, space for NDC car park, by orderÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Surprisingly when they informed officials of the Subin sub-metro about the development, they made a sharp u-turn as if they did not authorize them to occupy the area and ordered them to stop relocating to the place with immediate effect.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Amazingly they have given us up till Monday to remove our containers or else they would be forcibly demolished,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mensah indicated.
He said information available to them indicates that the NDC adherents pressurised the administrator of the Subin sub-metro to rescind his initial decision to give the land to the association.
On behalf of the association Mensah appealed to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to come to their aid to ensure that they get a place to transact business whilst waiting for construction work at the Asafo market to be completed.
He expressed the hope that after investing such huge sums of money to prepare the new place KMA would consider their welfare and assist them to occupy the place temporarily till a permanent place was found for them.
Stressing that the association is non-political, the chairman appealed to the NDC sympathisers to consider their plight and allow them to occupy the place so they could still cater for their dependants.
From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi