The timely intervention of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) officials on Monday prevented a demonstration by about 500 women traders at the Odawna Market from blocking the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue Street.
The AMA delegation led by the Coordinating Director, Mr Aryeh Darteh, Mr Ben Armah, Deputy Director and Numo Blafo III, Public Relation Officer, upon hearing of the protest, rushed to the scene and appealed to the traders to suspend the intended exercise.
The AMA therefore invited the leaders of the market women to address their demands within a week. According to the traders, they agreed to the request of the AMA to withdraw their intended demonstration on the ground that their grievances would be looked into.
Miss Bernice Otoo, President of the Novotel Market Traders Association (NMTA) in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the protest had become necessary following several complaints from the women that their foodstuffs got rotten due to low or no patronage from customers.
She said a portion of land reserved for customers to park their cars when they visited the market had been taken over by squatters against the orders of the AMA.
Miss Otoo said it was agreed when the AMA inaugurated the Odawna Market last year that no one would be allowed to use the streets and pavements for trading. She said today the stalls are empty.
She said the main sections of the market with built stalls were empty and the original traders, who obeyed the AMA directives to stay within their stalls, had lost huge sums of their trading capital due to the activities of those selling on streets.
She urged the AMA not to complain about poor sanitary condition in Accra while it had allowed some traders back onto the streets which was the basis of poor waste management in the Metropolis.
Miss Otoo urged the AMA not to involve themselves in politics, but rise up to its mandate of administering Accra markets and enforced its bye-laws, which previously existed at the Novotel Market.
Numo Blafo III, the Assembly’s Public Relations of Officer in an interview, expressed gratitude to the traders and accepted the challenge to address the issues raised by the women in their protest in a week’s time.
Meanwhile, he said, AMA had started a special operation to arrest recalcitrant traders who flouted the laws.
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