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05.03.2007 General News

Pedestrians boycott new overhead bridge

Pedestrians boycott new overhead bridge

The Vice President's campaign for greater discipline launched some three years ago was believed, at least by most government officials, to be the panacea for addressing the growing level of indiscipline in the Ghanaian society.

But subsequent events have pointed to the fact that the fight for greater discipline will take more than mere television campaign and sermons to succeed.

It was the usual rush hour and pedestrians were in a hurry to get to their various destinations through the available routes. While some chose to use the over head bridge, there were still others who preferred to scale the concrete wall in order to get to the other end of the road.

A number of people have in the past been knocked down by approaching vehicles. Reports of vehicles running into persons were a common feature in the past. A hawker, for example, was nearly run over by an approaching vehicle when he impatiently crossed over to the other side disregarding the approaching car.

The over head bridge was therefore constructed to ease the pressure on pedestrians competing with drivers for space. But it appears some people are finding its usage difficult as dailyEXPRESS observed.

Last Monday for example, most pedestrians defied police orders and used the main road instead of the over head bridge. A police officer detailed to control traffic during the rush-hour had a hectic time stopping pedestrians from using the main road. The situation was brought under control only when the number of police presence increased.

A young man who had scaled the wall separating the two roads was nearly knocked down by an approaching vehicle when one of the police officers gave him a hot chase.

“It is really sad that after 50 years we need security presence to direct us to do the right thing,” Samuel Nyarko a second year student at Accra Poly lamented.

However, concerns of theft & harassment on the over head bridge appear to be deterring most people from using the place especially in the evening.

dailyEXPRESS gathered that a number of people have fallen victim to the activities of pick-pockets who do not only rob victims of their mobile phones and money, but assault them in the process. Three weeks ago, a young lady was said to have been punched in the face before her bag containing money, mobile phone and other valuables, was snatched.

“I have personally seen somebody attacked here once. They took away a file he was holding,” a newspaper vendor told me when I attempted taking a picture of a gentleman who had just scaled the concrete wall.

Writing under the headline 'A day at the Nkrumah Circle' dailyEXPRESS columnist Esenam DUMENU recently narrated a robbery incident she witnessed at the over head bridge. “…….the guy with the stolen bag wielded a big stick with an accomplice behind him. A number of boys were chasing them or pretending to chase them as they scattered through the cab station.”

A police constable on duty at the Nkrumah Circle told the dailyEXPRESS he has personally received reports of the activities of “unscrupulous” persons harassing pedestrians at the over head bridge.

He said his superiors are still discussing the issue and will soon detail some police officers at vantage points of the bridge.

Story by Nii Kwaku Osabutey Anny