The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has cautioned that buyers who patronise the services of traders selling at unauthorised places are culpable.
He said the AMA Hawkers bye-laws of 2011 did not only apply to traders, but buyers as well, adding that it was very crucial for the public to be conversant with the law.
“Everybody, therefore, must bear in mind to comply with the law to avoid being arrested,” he cautioned further.
Speaking to journalists after a demolition exercise carried out by the assembly, Mr Sowah added that the arrest of buyers was the fourth phase of the strategies adopted by the assembly to decongest the city.
He said the first two phases involved the seizure of wares, while the third and fourth phases would be the arrest of traders and buyers respectively.
The AMA, in an exercise its task force carried out in collaboration with the police, demolished about 700 illegal structures erected along the Railway line from the Graphic Road to the VIP bus Terminal at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange.
As a result of the pulling down of the structures, mostly wooden, about 3,000 squatters had been displayed, according to a spokesperson, Mr Mohammed Nasir, the Youth Chief of Odorna, Zongo.
Squatters in the area were known to be involved in illegal activities and prostitution.
Ghana Railway Company
Mr Sowah explained that the Ghana Railway Company, which owns the land, had written to the AMA to decongest the area, in line with the revamping of the railway system.
He said the company had assured the assembly that it would put measures in place to prevent squatters from encroaching on the land again.
“The land belongs to the Ghana Railway Company Limited and the Minister of Railway Development has assured us that they would fence the property to prevent a slum from springing up,” he said.
Some of the displaced residents expressed their displeasure at the exercise and vowed to vote out the government in 2020.
Others said they had nowhere to spend the night with their children and that the authorities cared less about them.
Mr Nasir said some of those who had been displaced were from the north and had travelled to Accra to make a living from dealing in scrap metal.
“Their inability to afford accommodation in Accra led them to find an alternative abode in the area; now where do they sleep” he queried.
“We are Ghanaians, we deserve the right to be relocated after such a demolition exercise; Liberians in the country even have a place to stay,” he added.