Traders at the Kantamanto Market in Accra have stated categorically that they will resist any attempt by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to take over the market.

The anger of the aggrieved traders follows an announcement by the AMA to the effect that it will take over the market after its reconstruction.

According to the traders, the experience of several people who have been displaced by fire at markets in the country has largely contributed to their unwillingness to freely allow government take over the market.

?At least, we were in Kantamanto here when the Madina Market was razed down by fire few years ago, and people who had been operating in the market were not allowed into the market after it was rebuilt,? a second-hand cloth dealer, Adwoa Boakyewaa, recounted.

She and other angry traders gathered at the site of the burnt market expressed their fear that hundreds of traders would lose the stalls after the market is reconstructed.

?We can boldly say that the stalls in the market will be sold out to other traders at ridiculously high prices?and foot soldiers of the ruling party would be the direct beneficiaries,? they added.

One Agya Attah mentioned that his nephew, who was a victim of the Makola Market demolition exercise on the 18th August, 1979 had to leave the country and seek greener pastures abroad because he was never reconsidered in the allocation of stores after its reconstruction.

?The stores were given out to PNDC cronies and other people who could afford: the poor and non-sympathizers of the party were rejected and that is what we believe would happen when we allow Vanderpuije to take over,? he said.

The Kantamanto market in Accra was razed down by a fierce fire in the early hours of Sunday causing about 800 traders to lose valuables and monies running into millions of Ghana cedis.

Today gathered that the AMA decision did not go down well with the traders as many of them stormed the market to vent their anger at the city authorities.

?We are sleeping here and never are we going to allow government to take over this market which is our source of income and livelihood?,? some traders shouted in protest to the planned takeover by the AMA.

It took the bravery and experience of the combined team of police and military personnel to foil violent attacks on them by irate traders.

In their anger, the traders set fire to lorry tyres, wooden structures and blocked all entrances to the market.

The Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Christian Tettey Yohuno, who led the team of personnel to restore calm, reported on Accra-based Joy FM that the angry traders ??have turned against the police, throwing stones at [us].?

The traders on various networks in the capital also called on the AMA to not side-step them in the decision making process aimed at restoring hope to the affected victims.

?We are the representatives of the traders and we deserve to be consulted?,? heads of the various market women shouted on the networks.

STORY: KWAKU NTI

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