BUSINESS ACTIVITIES at the Kejetia Bus Terminal in Kumasi on Tuesday morning came to a standstill when traders at the place openly displayed their fury over attempts by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to relocate them for rehabilitation works to take place.
Clad in red attire to show their seriousness, the traders hurled curses and insinuations at Kojo Bonsu, the KMA Boss, who they accused of pushing for the rehabilitation of the terminal so that he could pilfer state funds.
The leadership of the Kejetia Traders Association (KTA) had invited media men to their press conference concerning the intended works at the facility; but the charged traders turned what was supposed to be a quiet event into a demonstration.
Yen Tie Obia
Hundreds of angry traders took total control of the hitherto busy terminal amid the singing of war songs and threats that they would not move an inch from the facility.
The highlight of the show was when the traders sang Daddy Lumba’s ‘Yen Tie Obia’ song which instantly electrified the place.
The press conference was delayed for several hours, as almost all traders at the terminal locked their stores and collectively registered their anger over KMA’s intention. People who were travelling from the city were delayed as cars operating at the terminal could not move.
Some female traders said what they displayed on the day was a gist of what they intended doing if the KMA indeed carried out its intention of relocating them, vowing that they would go naked for the whole world to see if Kojo Bonsu remained adamant.
Kojo Bonsu Slapped
When calm was finally restored, Bernard Kwasi Owusu, Vice Chairman of the KTA, told the media that the KMA’s two-month ultimatum to the traders to leave the facility was an insult, inhuman and a clear indication that Kojo Bonsu and the NDC administration did not care about the ordinary Ghanaian.
He disclosed that the KMA did not communicate with the traders before coming out with the two-month ultimatum, ‘which is very short,’ adding that the promise of relocating the traders to the Adehyee Market was a hoax since that facility was still under construction.
Kwasi Owusu said the traders wanted to see Kumasi develop into a modern city, stressing that development, however, should not impoverish common traders like them.
He said traders at the Kejetia Bus Terminal pay taxes to the central government to develop the country; and therefore at least the KMA and the government should have some respect for them, adding that ‘we heard about our relocation on radio and this is an insult to us.’
Mayor’s Boy Slain
Andrew Kwofie, Assistant PRO of KTA, said the traders did not see the KMA as credible enough to carry out the supposed rehabilitation process of the terminal, citing inconsistent figures which Kojo Bonsu’s spokesperson, Sammy Gyamfi, had given as money earmarked for the project.
‘The PRO of the mayor has stated that the amount for the construction of Kejetia alone is $198 million and that of Kumasi Central Market is $100 million. He is on record to have stated on another platform that the amount meant for the construction of Kejetia again was $172 million.
‘The inconsistency is mindboggling and strangely, the construction of Kumasi Central Market, which is the original project, had been relegated to the background,’ he stated, alleging that information they were privy to indicated that the assembly did not know anything about the Kejetia project.
Kwofie described the KMA’s decision to relocate the traders and rehabilitate the facility as shocking, disclosing that some of the traders were currently spending colossal monies to build stores which were almost complete at the facility and sanctioned by the KMA.
He jabbed Kojo Bonsu for harbouring the intention of accruing money from the intended Kejetia project to enrich himself, accusing him of hopping from one media station to another in a desperate attempt to win public support to fulfil his personal ambition.
‘It is repugnant to hear people of honour lie to the public in an attempt to win public sympathy so as to enrich the pockets of a few,’ he said, descending heavily on Kojo Bonsu’s spokesperson for lying that concrete plans had been made to relocate the traders even though nothing of that sort had happened so far.
He said Kejetia was distinct from the Kumasi Central Market and urged the public not to believe Kojo Bonsu’s lies, stressing that the traders were not against development.
‘What we are kicking against is dishonesty, corruption, greed, financial malfeasance and abuse of power by government appointees.’
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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