Personnel of the American Forensic Team, contracted by the Government of Ghana to help unravel the mystery surrounding the recent strings of fires at the nation’s markets, were held spellbound yesterday at the Kumasi Central Market, when a woman vehemently protested their presence by stripping naked.
The team, led by one John Allen, an Electrical Engineer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, could not believe their eyes when one of the victims stood in front of them and stripped naked to protest what she described as an intended move by the authorities to reconstruct the market.
The incident happened in a flash, and took the security delegation, led by the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Augustine Gyening, by surprise.
John Allen, who witnessed the incident right in front of him, could not behold the scene and screamed: “What is this, I can’t watch this! I can’t watch this.”
Security personnel present had to whisk the woman away from the scene to avoid any further embarrassment.
The team, which included a representation of the military, was at the scene to assess the extent of damage, and pave way for the US forensic investigators and their Ghanaian partners to commence work.
They were, however, given a tough time by traders at the market, who had their items destroyed, as they protested against the entry of the security persons, and wanted them to clear the area and enable them (traders) mount their structures and recommence business.
According to the traders, they doubted the sincerity of the government to reconstruct the market, and dread that they may eventually lose their places to people who can afford it, once they are completed.
They are, therefore, calling on the city authorities to allow them mount their own structures, since they did not have faith in the state to assist them recover their losses.
One of the leading members of the Second Hand Clothes Dealers Association, Agya Owusu, told The Chronicle in an interview that because of a precedence, and the fact that the government had failed to live up to a similar promise a few years ago, they would resist any attempt to evict them from their location.