IN OUR LAST edition, we did a story highlighting the quiet national applause the Mayor for Accra, Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuye, was receiving among Government officials and ordinary people in the metropolis. Those who endorsed the crusade included pedestrians, drivers and traders as well as politicians. We indicated, too, that by dint of that feat, he could well be on his way to becoming Ghana’s longest serving Mayor.
Wojaku joins the ordinary people of this metropolis; nay, Ghana at large, in applauding his efforts at sanitizing business and culture on the Central Business District of Accra, particularly his alertness in listening to advice and adding a friendly and humanitarian touch to his crusade to make Accra decent.
There is, however, a little more he can do in bringing that crusade to a logical and more plausible conclusion. That is he must do something – and urgently too – about the specter of untidy marketing activities along the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) and Railway stretch.
Those involved is such economic activities along the periphery, particularly include, tomato traders, who daily litter the ill-constructed drains and pavements along the stretch with rotten tomatoes that tell a story, too, about post harvest losses and illiterate business. But hat mad trade is not our beef currently.
Our real worry is that the affected areas are not in the books of the AMA as statutory, stipulated markets. Our understanding of democracy as the freedom to behave anyhow and threaten politicians, rather than seeing democracy as law and order, has led us as a people to take things for granted in following our selfish socio-economic agenda.
Unfortunately, our politicians, because they also tend to look inwards in several respects, also most of the time, tend to be afraid about the repercussions of applying sanctions in such situations. When that happens, the State becomes the ultimate loser.
In the case of the two markets, what we now have on our hands is that they are breeding fraud, poor sanitation and quiet drug addiction and prostitution. That is aside of the danger they are putting to their lives from vehicles along the stretch.
We appeal to the Mayor and the AMA to scrap these two markets immediately. The argument that the State must always bear the brunt in making alternative arrangement for affected traders in such case is balderdash and crap. However, because the AMA itself looked the other way as these illegalities thrived, it would be magnanimous if they attempted a long term solution in addressing the problem.
Whatever the case, we believe it is time to scrap the two markets as a matter of policy and discipline.