Scores of angry-looking traders at the Kumasi Kejetia Bus Terminal caused a stir yesterday when they openly used eggs and Schnapps to invoke curses on Kojo Bonsu, the Kumasi Mayor, who they accused of adopting oppressive means to deny them of their sources of livelihood.
The traders, who were demonstrating, described Kojo Bonsu as very ‘wicked’ and ‘insensitive’ to their plight, vowing to do everything within their power to resist any attempt by the KMA to eject them from the Kejetia Bus Terminal for the proposed reconstruction works to take place.
Some of the agitated female traders even attempted to carry out their infamous threat of stripping naked in public, especially when the protestors reached the KMA premises, but their leadership acted swiftly to prevent them from going nude.
A trader with eggs to curse Kojo Bonsu
The announcement that some of the female traders had planned to strip themselves naked attracted scores of curious people, mostly men, to the city center where the protestors marched, but they were left disappointed at the eleventh-hour as the women were prevented from doing so.
Organized by the Kejetia Traders Association (KTA) the protestors, wearing red dresses and singing war songs to openly display their anger, marched through the principal streets of Kumasi.
The traders virtually declared yesterday a holiday as they closed their shops and hit the streets in their numbers. All driver unions operating at the Kejetia Bus Terminal also grounded their vehicles to join the demonstration, causing severe problems for travelers.
The number of the demonstrators was so huge that their presence in the streets caused severe vehicular traffic, especially at Adum, the Central Business District (CBD) of the city. Heavily armed policemen followed them to make sure that the protest march was peaceful.
The protestors carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Kojo 419,’ ‘Kojo Bonsu is a criminal,’ ‘Tweaa Kojo Bonsu,’ ‘Kojo Bonsu is a gay,’ ‘Kojo Bonsu is a terrorist,’ ‘Welcome Brazil Burger,’ ‘Brazil Akwantuo Part 1 and 2,’ ‘Kojo Bonsu your days are numbered,’ and ‘Otumfuo come and save us.’
The traders became more incensed when they reached the KMA premises at Adum with some of them trying to get access to the facility and perhaps cause destruction but they were prevented by the armed policemen who had barricaded the facility.
From the KMA, the traders marched to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) where they handed their petition to the acting Ashanti Regional Minister Eric Opoku, who was accompanied by some top party officials, including Francis Dodovi.
Andrew Kwofie, PRO of the traders, who read the petition, said the two-month period given by the KMA for the traders to leave Kejetia was too short and unacceptable adding, ‘This action is unreasonable, insensitive, oppressive and unjust towards our rights and welfare as traders.’
According to him, to the best of the knowledge of the traders, the Kumasi Central Market was originally earmarked for reconstruction to stop the frequent fire outbreaks at the place, saying that Kojo Bonsu’s strange decision to reconstruct the Kejetia Bus Terminal instead was unacceptable.
He accused Kojo Bonsu of not being transparent with regards to the reconstruction of the terminal, full of inconsistencies in his dealings with the traders and also lying that the KMA had made plans to properly relocate them ‘which is false.’
Kwofie also lambasted Kojo Bonsu over his recent trip to Brazil in the company of his cohorts in connection with the proposed project noting, ‘Strangely, as beneficiaries of the said project, none of our leadership was part of the Brazil trip.’
Mr Eric Opoku commended the traders for adopting peaceful and democratic means to drum home their grievances, assuring that he would peruse their petition and work to address the pressing concerns that they had raised.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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