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Traders ‘assault’ New Juaben officials during decongestion exercise

The Transport Officer of the New Juaben Municipal Assembly, Batscott Nkrumah, has threatened legal action against traders who assaulted him on Thursday morning at the Koforidua Agartha Market.

Confusion broke out between the Municipal Assembly task-force and some petty traders at the Agartha Market, after the traders resisted officials of the Municipal Assembly who had gone there on a routine de-congestion exercise

Mr. Nkrumah, who is the leader of the New Juaben Municipal Assembly task-force, accused some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and some members of the assembly of inciting the traders against the task-force when he spoke to Citi News.

“The problem we are facing is that, when we informed the traders to move from the pavements, our own people within the assembly went to tell them to return and trade there. Some assembly members who say they are NPP faithful are part of those individuals causing these problems. I know them and we are aware of what they are doing to prevent us from cleaning the mess on our streets and in the region’s capital city,” he claimed.

“This [Thursday] morning, I just asked a woman to move back from the pavement where she had arranged her goods but unfortunately, she pounced on me and attacked me and bit my arm, other members of the task-force came to my rescue. I later reported the case to the Police and was issued with a medical form to the hospital where I was later treated and injected with tetanus.”

Mr. Nkrumah added that he will see to the immediate prosecution of the traders who attacked him.

“Those who attacked me and the other assembly members of the task-force will be prosecuted, I will make sure the law takes its course to serve as a deterrent to others who would want to prevent public officials from carrying out their mandate.”

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the area, Madame Comfort Asante, explained that the Assembly will not relent in its efforts to ensure sanity prevails in the regional capital.

“We have not locked or closed shops in the city. All we are saying is that, we won’t allow the traders to sell on pavements, it is not hygienic for the buyers and its not safe for the traders as well.”

“If you take a walk in town you will see the mess on our streets, these traders come as far as onto the streets where vehicles ply to arrange their goods and sell which is not safe for them. As an Assembly, we will not sit and wait for a disaster to occur before we take steps; and  that’s the reason we have taken measures to revive the Agartha market to relocate them,” she told Citi News.

“We are asking them to go there and sell, there is a Police station very close to the market, their safety is assured and those who have not yet gotten a shed, should come to our office and we will assign them one.”

By: Neil Nii Amatey Kanarku/citifmonline.com/Ghana