AN emergency meeting demanded by members of the Secondhand Clothes Sellers’ Association, Makola Annex 2 of Tudu, Accra and agreed to by their chairman, Mr. Justice Amalai Tetteh last week ended in confusion as the chairman refused to answer questions posed to him after his address.
According to the angry members, their chairman, who has been in office for the past seven years, has refused to call general meetings which, according to their constitution, must be held thrice a year. The members also accused him of not being transparent with the finances of the association including the income from the toilet constructed by the association.
In a letter titled ‘Invitation to an emergency meeting’ dated July 14, 2015 and signed by the convener, Godwin Amanya, the members wanted the chairman to address them and answer questions on, among other issues, the general welfare of the association, the aftermath of last year’s fire which destroyed the market and the financial status of the association. He was to address the meeting on July 15.
The chairman, however, chose July 23 for the meeting and pointed out in his acceptance letter that ‘On the issues raised for discussion apart from number 4, the rest you have sent to the Bureau of National Investigation, BNI and the Economic and Organised Crimes Office, EOCO, for investigations and as a law abiding chairman, I don’t discuss matters which are under investigations’.
Mr. Tetteh’s address to the members raised tension as the agitated members continuously heckled him; responding to his morale-boosting calls of ‘unity’ with deafening shouts of ‘failure’ thereby making it impossible for the obviously embarrassed and harassed chairman to present a comprehensive and cohesive report.
Some of the issues that piqued the members most were the conflicting figures the chairman and their secretary gave in relation to what was spent to clear the debris from the market after last year’s fire incident. While the secretary said GHC12,060.00 the chairman said money spent was GHC19,900.00 which brought the angry members to their feet.
The chairman will however not budge on his decision not to discuss financial matters as they are under investigation and he will also not disclose any information about the public-private-partnership discussions going on to
rebuild the market into a modern eight- storey shopping arcade. He would also not comment on monies paid by members affected by the fire to access a MASLOC facility to re-start their businesses.
With emotions running high and unable to control the agitated and angry members, Mr. Tetteh called for police assistance to rescue him from his hostile members who continued to heckle him.
The police team of about six led by DSP Bonsu, the Accra Central District Commander was however not happy with the chairman for not pointing out two or three members who were confrontational so they could be arrested promptly and charged with offensive conduct.
The unhappy members of the association who saw DSP Bonsu’s stance as an intimidation and suppression of their right to find out about their welfare, tried to find out from him why they should be barred from asking questions; he replied that he would only answer that question if they come to his office.
According to the convener, at the meeting with the police, chaired by the Accra Central District Commander he advised them to rather use the judicial system to remove Mr. Tetteh if they were so bent on seeing his back. He warned them that they stood the risk of being arrested and prosecuted if the police got any report of any attack on the chairman be it violent or verbal, warned agitated association members.
Some members of the association, Issac Kojo Larbi and Kwame Obeng Asante also voiced their unhappiness at the position taken by the chairman and reiterated the members’ suspicion that the chairman was in cahoots with some unnamed people to frustrate them and eventually eject them from the market.
Source: The General Telegraph
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