Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) yesterday morning carried out a decongestion exercise across the central business district (CBD) of Accra to clear the streets, particularly pavements, of traders.
The exercise, which started at about 4:00 a.m., saw members of AMA’s taskforce breaking down unauthorised structures mounted on pavements and other unauthorised places by the traders.
Among the areas where the decongestion exercise was conducted were the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, TipToe Lane, Tudu and Accra Central.
At Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Accra Central, for instance, the pavements which usually would have been inundated with traders of all kinds which action slow down human movements, were free of the traders and people were moving with ease.
When Today news team visited Kwame Nkrumah Circle, some of the traders who were overwhelmed by the action of the AMA were seen standing in groups and musing over their next action.
Some members of the AMA Taskforce were also seen on the pavements at vantage points to prevent the traders from coming back.
Some of the traders who could not hide their disapproval about the exercise said they were only given a short notice to vacate.
Chairman of the Neoplan Traders Association at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Mr Francis Kumi, who spoke to journalists, said members of his association were not part of those selling on the pavements but have been affected by the exercise.
He said members of the Neoplan Traders Association were given the place they have been selling by one Moses, a liaison officer of the AMA at the VIP station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
He said members of the Neoplan Traders Association did not put any unauthorized structures on the pavements to sell.
Mr Kumi said members of the association after the construction of the Circle Interchange had spent more than GH¢1billion filling the uncovered gutters and beautifying the space for their trading activities, adding that the said Moses was the one who gave the place to them.
He said over 150 members of the association were affected, alleging that some of the members were even beaten during the exercise.
He said the leadership of the association had met Moses to discuss with him, to at least, give them some time to move from the place when they heard the news about the decongestion exercise three days ago on the television.
Mr Kumi said when the leadership met Moses, he (Moses) assured them that he would do something about their situation but came to them on Sunday (December 7, 2018) that there was nothing he could do about the exercise.
A petty trader, who only gave his name as Edward Mensah, expressed their disappointment in the manner in which AMA carried out the exercise.
According to him, revenue collectors from AMA everyday come to them for daily levies, which members of the Neoplan Traders Association had been complying with religiously.
The disgruntled traders however, appealed to the leadership of AMA to consider those who were not on the pavement, stressing that “where we are is not part of the pavement.”
Meanwhile some pedestrians speaking to Today were delighted about the exercise, especially when they know it will help ease movement along the pavements.
They equally prayed that the AMA would sustain the exercise since the trading activities on the pavements always hamper human movements.