10.09.2009 Regional News

Phone peddlers takeover Nkrumah Circle roads

10.09.2009 LISTEN
By Naa Bettey Nelson - Ghanaian Chronicle

After the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has warned against the selling of items on pavements and streets by hawkers, these recalcitrant people, who mostly trade in mobile phones, have now extended their businesses from the pavements onto the streets, especially at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

Initially, before the AMA embarked on the decongestion exercise, they line up in their numbers in front of the Vodafone Ghana Company offices, but after the exercise, they have now moved to the opposite side of the street, where they have taken over the pavements and the street, from the newly built filling station, all the way to the Pig Farm Taxi rank..

Walking on that pavement is very difficult, for the reason that these hawkers are overcrowded on the pavements, while they chase and pursue pedestrians to buy their phones.

When passers-by try to ignore them, they turn to rain insults on these people calling them all them all sorts of names.

It is believed that most of the mobile phones sold at that particular place are stolen ones.

Mr. Antwi, a victim of that situation, said about a month ago, he was attacked by two men at gunpoint, and asked to surrender his phones.

“A friend of mine advised me to go to these peddlers and pretend I am buying a phone, to see whether I can find my phones. I saw my phone and I begun asking the one holding the phone some questions. He became furious, and when I tried claiming ownership of the phone, he rather started shouting and calling thief, thief,” he said.

Some pedestrians told the Accra File that they were always afraid when using that side of the pavement, because these same phones sellers have turned themselves into pickpockets.

“When they pick you and you turn to shout or complain about it, they rather hoot at you, and even beat you up,” they added. Others also said the situation becomes very serious, especially in the evenings, as they keep pestering pedestrians, and at the same time follow them and steal items from those carrying handbags.

Some also said most of the phones being sold are a fake, and that these hawkers design toilet soap to look like a mobile phone, cover it with a cell phone covering, and sell it, saying that the battery had run down so it could not be turned on.

They then disappear from the place, and would be nowhere to be found.

The Accra File is therefore alerting the Police Service and the AMA to stop in this activity since these hawkers/pickpockets are harassing and robbing innocent pedestrians.