General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
Central Regional Chairman for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs, has accused members of the New Patriotic Party in Cape Coast of allocating the stores in the newly constructed Kotokuraba market to their lovers and other NPP affiliates.
According to him, they have defied the court ruling allowing for the distribution per the prepared list of the committee set up by the Assembly.
He said the party, having realized that the petition they filed while in opposition (to allow distribution per a list prepared by a committee constituted by the assembly) is working against them now that they are in government, decided to request that the case be discontinued, an appeal that was rejected by the court.
Speaking on Adom Tv’s Badwam program, Allotey Jacobs said the NPP members in the region are finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that they are bound by the implications of their previous actions and are therefore taking the laws into their own hands and are doing what they deem fit in their own interest as far as allocation of the stores are concerned.
“The funny thing now is we have a new Metro Chief Executive, we have a new regional minister, a new government in place and so the same case they sent to court is coming back against them and they want to discontinue the case. What we the NDC are saying is that if you want to discontinue the case then you must accept the ruling of the court but that’s not what they are doing. Now they come and allocate the whole market to their girlfriends and to whoever is a member of the NPP, contrary to the court ruling”, he stated.
Allotey Jacobs accused the NPP of breaking gadgets and equipments in the edifice and changing the locks of the various stalls in an effort to secure them for their members.
“The gadgets and equipments that have been placed in front of the shops have all been destroyed by them, that is what they have done, they have even gone as far as changing keys, that is NPP for you”, he said.
The Kotokuraba market since its commissioning has been left idle owing to irregulaties in the allocation processes. The situation which has left market women in the region stranded saw some of them protesting Monday July 17 to register their displeasure about the uneven distribution of the stalls
In 2016, some aggrieved market women were granted a court injunction on the allocation, citing some irregularities in the allocation processes, after the then President John Dramani Mahama had inaugurated the market.
The defendants then were the immediate past Regional Minister and the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive.
Upon the exit of the NDC, the new Regional Minister and the current Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) Chief Executive, serving as defendants, asked the cart for an out-of-court settlement, which the court granted.
A new committee comprising NPP and NDC members was constituted by the Assembly to do the allocations using the Assembly’s prepared list of allottees.
It is the current list that has generated the controversy, with various stakeholders threatening diverse actions to ensure that fairness in the allocation is done.
Meanwhile, the NDC, two weeks back, issued a statement saying the NPP is spreading “vicious propaganda” to “incite our grassroots especially Cape Coast youths, women and the market women against leadership of the NDC that the stalls, stores and other facilities in the newly constructed Kotokuraba market has been shared among NDC Regional executives, Cape Coast South Executives and Cape Coast North executives”.
The NDC accused the NPP’s Central Regional branch of abandoning the true list of persons who were allotted spaces at the market earlier presented to the court, alleging the NPP is now bent on sharing the facilities to its party faithful in Cape Coast.
Meanwhile, some twenty-two members of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly issued a stern warning to the Regional Minister and the Cape Coast Mayor over the matter in a press conference held at Cape Coast July 8, threatening the market complex could be doomed.
The group, calling itself Concerned Members of the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, stated among other things that the new committee’s work has “expunged the names of some legitimate tenants and has included people who are not sitting tenants, thereby contravening the court’s orders”.
They warned if the right thing is not done, the CCMA could be plagued by financial losses, court actions and confusion and conflict among the people of Cape Coast.