General News of Sunday, 21 June 2015
President John Mahama has appealed to the Asantehene to intervene in the current standoff between traders at Kejetia and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
The President made the appeal when he commissioned a new recreational facility in the Kumasi metropolis, the Rattary Park.
The traders are protesting against the reconstruction of the Kumasi Central Market.
Despite relocation plans put in place by the KMA to pave way for the reconstruction works to commence, the traders believe it is not in their best interest.
The President noted that the Kumasi Central Market after its reconstruction will be the biggest modern market in West Africa and thus asked the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, as well as other traditional leaders, to help resolve all disagreement between the traders and the KMA.
“The current design of the market we have will make the Kumasi central market the most modern and beautiful market in West Africa, and so I will appeal to Otumfuo and the traditional authorities of Kumasi and opinion leaders to intervene so that we can create the environment for the market project to start as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the traders staged a protest at the entrance of the Rattary Park, holding placards with inscriptions such as “If you don’t stop the construction, no 1 million votes for you,” “Use Race Course for your 10,000 stores” among others.
However, President Mahama expressed government ‘s determination to rebuild the market.
“And as the city Mayor said, we are determined to go ahead with the construction of the new modern Kumasi central market…I know that there are various issues that keep getting raised, and just when I came in, I saw a little demonstration with placards drawing my attention to a few issues. I believe that these issues can be resolved,” he added.
“The contractor is ready, we have the funds, the money is sitting in the bank and we are paying commitment fees for money because the money has arrived and so the longer we delay, the more money one will throw away, I will be very happy to seize the opportunity to come here in the next few months to cut the sod for start of work.”
President Mahama also commended the Mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu for his initiative and asked for other mayors as well as MMDCE’s to emulate the city mayor.
“…I’m calling on other mayors and other district Chief Executives to look at this example of innovation to also copy, I give you the opportunity to copy.”
The Rattary Park is an initiative of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to restore Kumasi’s status as the Garden City under the KMA “Greening Kumasi” project.
The Rattary park has the first dancing fountains in West Africa, a children’s playground, walkways, a snack bar and other facilities.