Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, AMA Chief Executive Officer

Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, AMA Chief Executive Officer

Today can report that some traders at Kaneshie Market are gripped by fear and uncertainty following recent fire outbreaks at some markets in the capital city, Accra.

According to them, they cannot understand why fire gutted Kantamanto, Dome and Tudu markets all within a week.

?We pray that the fire outbreak does not occur here (Kaneshie Market) because we cannot stand it. It would be very disastrous for us,? Auntie Vero, a towel seller intimated.

Today gathered that the fear of the traders intensified, especially when the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) immediately after the Kantamanto fire announced that it was going to reconstruct the market.

?Perhaps there might be plans to reconstruct Kaneshie Market too or even to use part of the market for some other purposes only that we are not aware. Therefore, some persons might willfully burn the market so that the chance would come for the reconstruction or the other intended purpose, Mr. Baffour Takyi, a shop owner, stated.

To buttress his point, Mr. Takyi recounted that in March this year, traders and the youth in Kaneshie Market clashed with the police during an AMA demolishing exercise in the area which incident resulted in the firing of rubber bullets and tear gas.

According to him, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Okaikoi South, Hon. Arthur, told the traders at the time that the coordinating director had denied knowledge of the exercise.

?Hon Arthur said one Philip Lamptey was the brain behind the demolition exercise because he wanted to pull down the structures just like he did with the Kaneshie toilets and built stores there,? Mr. Takyi said.

He therefore appealed to AMA to come out and explain to traders whether the Kaneshie Market or part of it would be used for any purpose because the traders ?were very apprehensive.?

?If there is no plan for the market to be used for other purpose, then the authorities should make sure it is safe for us every day,? the shop owner said.

STORY: PHILIP KUMI

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