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11.02.2005 General News

Displaced workers to take to the street

By Palaver

SOME displaced hawkers, formerly operating on the Central Business Area of Accra, have threatened to embark on a demonstration against the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and its Chief Executive, Mr Stanley Adjiri-Blankson, in protest against their ejection from the pavements, on which they plied their trade.

They rather accused the AMA Chief Executive of failure to get rid of the filth in Accra within the 100 days in office, as he promised and is only using the presence of the hawkers as an excuse for his failure.

What he has succeeded to do is to cause an abrupt end to their trade, thereby denying them of their basic needs.

A spokesman of the group, in an interview with the 'Palaver', called for the removal of Mr Adjiri-Blankson for failing the people in the City of Accra, in terms of making the city clean.

"Must we be made the scape-goats for the failure of the AMA to perform its duty"? he asked.

One of the traders, Adwoa Manu, screamed: "I have no where to go, I fend for myself and can hardly survive the ordeal I will have to go through, when I lose my source of livelihood."

The hawkers also accused the government of failing its election promise, made as far back as 2000, to provide the youth with jobs.

She maintained that no firm arrangements had been made to resettle them before the AMA sacked them. "The decision to get us registered, was an after-thought. It only reminded us about the registration of the unemployed, years ago which ended nowhere," she added.

As to why they are refusing to go to other markets allocated to them, the hawkers said there is no brisk business in those places. Apart from that, there are no facilities there.

As the interview continued, an AMA official who passed by attracted the attention of the hawkers. It was then that one of them shouted:

"Mo die montwen, ye be te egu abontsen so nansayi a...!" literary meaning "We will soon take to the streets, you wait!"

The other traders confirmed that intention.

Meanwhile, there are many in the systems who still maintain that the exercise will be a nine-day wonder... and nothing beyond it.

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