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17.03.2009 General News

Drivers protest against Municipal Assembly

Drivers protest against Municipal Assembly

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Progress Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), at Agona Swedru, have protested against the decision of the Agona West Municipal Assembly to ban their local taskforce formed to check indiscipline by drivers in the municipality.

According to executives of the two transport unions, the banning of the taskforce, formed last year, has allowed recalcitrant drivers to load at the unauthorized places.

Nana Yaw Fayah, Central Regional Chairman of PROTOA, and spokesperson of the unions, who made the complaint at a meeting with drivers of the unions, said both the assembly and the unions were losing revenue because the drivers were not loading at the stations.

Nana Fayah said the unions 'have given the assembly three days ultimatum to allow the operation of their taskforce or they would also be compelled by the situation to move from the three lorry parks to load at the road side,' a situation that would cause disorder in the municipality.

He said last month, Mr Eric Bediako Oppong, Agona West Municipal Coordinating Director, at a meeting with the unions, informed them that directives had come from the Central Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), in Cape Coast, that the taskforce be stopped until a new Municipal Chief Executive was appointed.

Nana Fayah noted that the constitution of Ghana allowed freedom of association; therefore, it beat their imagination that the assembly had banned their taskforce.

He said the situation had paved way for drivers to engage “loading boys” who load them directly under the traffic lights, evading payment of lorry parks tolls and other taxes to the Assembly.

According to the Spokesperson, these boys were using the opportunity to snatch bags, mobile phones and valuable items from passengers, especially during holidays and in the evening.

Nana Fayah said the Motor Traffic and Transport Union (MTTU) personnel deployed to control traffic had stopped arresting offending drivers because according to them, they had no power to do so.

The taskforce checked overloading, over speeding, waned tires, broken windscreens and other defects on vehicles, before drivers were allowed to leave the lorry stations to help reduce accidents, he explained.

Mr Eric Bediako Oppong, Agona West Municipal Coordinating Director, in an interview with the GNA, confirmed the ban on the taskforce but did not give reasons.