NDC Thugs Take Over Kumasi Race-Course Market

Information available to The Chronicle indicates that thugs and operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress, (NDC), with the connivance of some unnamed officials of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, have forcibly taken over the ownership of race - course, the newly improvised resettlement for ejected Kejetia traders, and are illegally selling lands to the poor traders at high prices.

Funtionaries of the ruling party have reportedly turned the market place, which was recently re-allocated to KMA by the Asantehene to accommodate affected traders into a gold mine and are milking innocent traders dry. Though the place was released to them by some chiefs and individuals in the metropolitan, some NDC thugs have invaded the place, took over its management and are therefore exploiting the traders, most of whom are women.

A visit to the place which was sometime back occupied by the traders but were forced to move away because of a botched redevelopment programme of the area about five years ago, visibly showed that the over 12 acres land have all been shared to NDC groups, who on daily basis collect tolls for the traders, however, those monies when collected are allegedly taken to some regional executives of the ruling government.

The impudence, arrogance and the indiscipline of the NDC at the new place is so emphatic that they have named a portion of the market as “NDC Market” with NDC motor cadres in the region as managers of that ‘market’, our visit to the place revealed.

The paper also gathered that the market has been demarcated into seven zones and each of the zones is managed by one NDC group or the other.

Names like NDC macho men, NDC motor cadres, NDC foot soldiers, and NDC Women Association were some of the names mentioned as managers of the various zones.

According to information gathered at the place, most of the traders were not happy at all with what was going on but could do little about it because ‘there are very strong and prominent NDC officials; some at the KMA and again from the party office who are very much involved in all of these.”

Some traders who spoke to us further alleged: “every evening monies collected from us are taken to those NDC people… we have heard also that the leadership of the ruling party in the region were the powers that pushed for the relocation business so they could take over this place…they see this venture as a better place to get enough money for 2016 elections.”

To further ascertain the open allegation of the illegal sale of portions of lands to the traders, the reporters disguised themselves as traders in search of a place at the racecourse to sell and approached an ‘agent’ who promised to get us two parcels of lands to buy.

The agent who gave his name to us as Prince Sarkodie, and a worker at the Metro Mass Transit in Kumasi told us that he has two “12fts by 10fts land at different location, the last price of the one at this place (waterlogged area) is GH¢300 but if you want the one at the top there (behind the Regional GPRTU office) is sold at GH¢450 flat.”

“This place has been divided into seven zones, and each zone has not less than six hundred traders and I tell you that everybody who has got a place to here to sell will had paid between GH¢350 and GH¢450 and after paying that since the KMA refused to prepare this place for us, we are again demanded to pay GH¢50 to hire a grader to level the ground for us.” One trader told us.

Despite all these exploitations, the paper gathered that the market do not have places of convenience, with dust taken over the entire place.

Meanwhile, a footbridge located at Adum meant for pedestrians has been taken over by some of the traders who were affected by the ejection from Kejetia, with the traders briskly doing business while original users of the bridge had to struggle to meander their way through the crowd.

Though the act started in the beginning of the year, the number is gradually increasing by the day and it is feared that the situation would get worse during the Christmas festivities, if the situation is not checked immediately.

“The footbridge which was designed to enhance easy movement for the people in this area has turned to be a place for brisk business and this is a very worrying trend, a broadcast journalist, Michael Ntorinkansah lamented.

Meanwhile, some reresidents say the people are moving to that place for survival due to the fact that there is not enough space for them to trade since they have been moved from Kejetia.

“If this act continues and no action is taken, the amount of load and pressure that will be on the bridge due to human traffic that will occur during the Christmas might cause it," a concerned pedestrian lamented