It was a horrific sight to behold on Saturday when city guards of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) descended heavily on security personnel of Freko F.D Limited, managers of the Kejetia bus terminal.
The newly-graduated guards, who purportedly stormed the premises of the second largest bus terminal in the country on the instructions of the Chief Executive of KMA, Samuel Sarpong pounced on the hapless Freko security guards, beating them in the process.
Clad in green and blue attire and numbering about 50, the city guards made their way into one of the busiest terminals in the West African sub-region and assaulted the Freko security officials.
According to reports, the new recruits, who stormed the terminal at about 7; 30 am, said they were acting on the orders of the KMA chief executive. The unpleasant incident occurred because of Freko security personnel’s objection to the decision by the KMA boss to allocate a well-known pavement to certain traders to undertake their business.
Determined to address the congestion created by the allocation of space at the terminal for the construction of stalls and other structures by the KMA boss, Freko F.D Limited vowed to eject the traders on pavements in the terminal.
In line with its commitment which has been wholeheartedly welcomed by all and sundry in the metropolis, Freko F.D Limited educated traders on the dangers associated with selling on pavements at the terminal.
During one of the numerous awareness creation programmes, which was hugely attended by traders, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Freko F.D Limited, Freda Darko underscored the dangers involved in selling goods on the pavements.
According to her, the practice was extremely dangerous because moving vehicles were likely to run over traders. Freko F.D Limited sought the permission of the assembly before the exercise. The KMA boss praised the managers of the terminal for taking such initiative and pledged the assembly’s support and described the current situation as unpleasant.
The company recruited personnel to ensure that trading on pavements in the terminal becomes a thing of the past after receiving the approval of the assembly. However, Mr. Sarpong astonishingly directed some traders to occupy the cleared pavements to embark on their trading activities.
Though Freko F.D Limited has been entrusted with responsibility of managing the affairs of the terminal, they were not notified about the directives of the KMA boss.According to the security coordinator of the terminal, Seth Ofori, they were at the terminal as usual when a group of traders came to settle on the cleared pavements to undertake trading activities.
The security coordinator said the traders, who claimed to be supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) alleged that the KMA boss authorized them to occupy the pavements.
Mr. Ofori said his outfit demanded a letter from the KMA boss, adding that the traders took offence and posited that they could not produce any letter. Not convinced by the utterances of the traders, Mr. Ofori indicated that his outfit tried to stop them from carrying out their mission on the Friday.
He said the situation deteriorated when the security officials on Saturday prevented the traders from selling on the pavements thereby resorting in an attack from the city guards.
The security coordinator noted that the city guards, who stormed the terminal combat ready, pounced on his men who had taken position to prevent the traders from selling at the prohibited area.
In the melee, which attracted the attention of many spectators, Mr. Ofori said several men of his squad were beaten by the combatants including one Yaw Boateng, who had his shirt torn apart.
He noted that another security man, who resisted the intimidation by the city guards, was overpowered and sent to one Hon Capito, a former assembly man for Asawase who doubles as a government appointee, who he claimed was the leader of the invasion team.
Mr. Ofori indicated though the city guards are still at the terminal, they were prepared to ensure that the right thing is done.
Source: Morgan Owusu, Kumasi
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