Some hawkers around the newly inaugurated Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra are angry with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly for asking them to vacate the premise.
President John Mahama inaugurated the three-tier interchange project which cost about 74 million euros on Monday.
But hawkers had prior to the inauguration taken over the spaces allotted for pedestrians to trade their stuff.
Meanwhile, the AMA has asked the hawkers to relocate or have their structures demolished.
Outraged by the directive some of the hawkers lamented in a Citi News interview that they were not given ample time to vacate the place.
“They were saying we shouldn’t sell by the roadside. They also told us who sell beyond the pavement has been asked to move our things. Today the AMA people were with soldiers. Now I don’t know where I will be going,” one of the hawkers said.
Another woman who has been selling in the area for the past two years complained that “just two days ago they came here and started throwing our things away without any information.”
“They said we should pick out things and go, our things are many and you can’t just be throwing our things you have to give us time. Some of us we don’t have money to rent a house so we have just erected some structures and manage to take care of our families. Now that this has happened how we can take care of our families,” she asked.
But pedestrians are happy the hawkers have left the place but called on the AMA not to make the directive a nine day wonder.
“I think that it is in the right direction such that if the AMA is able to maintain it then residents would be assured of their walkway such that they are not pushed by the road where some people are knocked down by vehicles. What is important is their ability to sustain this effort so the hawkers don’t return. So I only pray that it is sustained,” a pedestrian said.
Another one appealed to AMA to find another place for the pedestrians.
“I am walking freely today here but the issue of hawkers has been a national problem for a very long time. So I think they should be confined in a particular place, they should be relocated, they shouldn’t be totally wiped off,” he added.
The Kwame Nkrumah interchange has three flyovers, a recreational facility, library, bus terminal, restaurant, fire, police and ambulance stations.
The project was funded with a loan from the Brazilian government and has been touted as one of the major achievements of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana