Several appeals by onion sellers at Agbogbloshie in Accra for the government to give them some time to adequately prepare for their relocation to Adjen Kotoku in the Ga West Municipality has yielded no results.
It will be recalled that the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Henry Quartey on Thursday, May 20, 2021, issued a seven-week ultimatum to onion sellers in Accra to relocate from Agbogbloshie to Adjen Kotoku.
But as the deadline approaches, the Minority Members of Parliament intervened on behalf of the onion sellers and called on the President and the Regional Minister to give the traders time to adequately prepare for the relocation. However the Minister did not heed to the plea of the minority.
Upon further delibrations between the Upper East and Greater Accra Regions Parliamentary caucus, the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central, Hon Abdul Latif Dan was tasked to engage the traders on the outcome of their meeting with the Regional Minister.
Addressing the traders on Saturday, June 26, 2021 Hon. Latif Dan revealed that the regional Minister has refused to heed to their plea and therefore advised the traders to prepare and relocate to Adjen Kotoku.
According to him, all the necessary arrangements have been made for their relocation and the Minister has vowed that the demolition exercise will come off on July 1.
He said the Regional Minister has assured the Minority, the Upper East and Greater Accra caucus that no trader will be left behind to sell at their current location after July 1, 2021.
He called on the traders to remain calm and should not be distracted by the current situation but they should rather remain focus and united as they prepare to relocate.
He added that the earlier they (traders) move to their new location the better it will be for them to avoid the loss of lives and properties during the demolition exercise by a joint military and police personal which will be deployed by the Regional Minister on July 1, 2021.
He therefore called on the traders to relocate to Adjen Kotoku before the deadline to avoid humiliation from the security personel who will be deployed on that day.
He further revealed that upon his interaction with the Regional Minister, it was revealed that the Adjen Kotoku market was constructed for the relocation of the onion sellers about 15 years ago but all efforts made to relocate the traders failed due to request by the traders to be given enough time.
The onion sellers on their part expressed some concerns about the new market at Adjen Kotoku.
They claimed there are plans by the authorities to allocate some stores to in the market to certain individuals who are not part of them.
The traders also claim that the current relocation exercise is the third time they are being relocated and therefore called on the Regional Minister to provide them with the necessary documents that will guarantee their permanent stay at their new location.
Hon. Abdul Latif Dan assured them that the Minority MPs will request for the data which will include the number of stores and sheds that have be allocated to the onion traders and will ensure that there will be no new faces at the market.
He added that every detailed documents from the Municipal Chief Executive will be given to the leadership and an agreement will be signed between the onion sellers and the Municipal Assembly to avoid infiltration by new faces in future.
On the issue of documentation to avoid future relocation, the MP explained that there is no way an individual or groups can own a market but it is the assembly that has the right to own and control it.
According to him, there will be an agreement for about 100 years which can be renewed.
He revealed that the MP for Builsa North Constituency in the Upper East Region Hon. James Agalga has been tasked to see to the drafting of the agreement and any subsequent documentation.
Hon. Abdul Latif Dan proceeded to interact with other traders who have also been asked to relocate. They include meat and goat sellers.
It was revealed that the Greater Accra Regional Minister and the Ablekuma Central Municipal Assembly had engaged them only on one occasion where they were ordered to relocate to Adjen Kotoku without being given the opportunity to address their legitimate concerns.
The goat and sheep sellers also raised concerns about the new location which includes the distance from main business centre to the place, poor structures, non availability of a slaughter house and lack of security.
They also lamented over the failure of City authorities to meet them for negotiations contrary to an agreement between them and the government that anytime the government intends to relocate them, there will be an engagement which the government failed to adhere to.
Source: Muhammed Faisal Mustapha