Hundreds of traders from the Nima market besieged the Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly on Friday, to demand the re-opening of the Nima market.
The Assembly today [Friday, 24th April 2020] temporarily closed down the market attributing it to the traders’ non-compliance of the social distancing directive announced by the president and health authorities.
Speaking to Citi News, the Municipal Coordinator Director for Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly Nii Armah Ashietey explained that reopening the market will be dependent on the outcome of the consultation with stakeholders.
The closure of the market angered some traders who registered their displeasure as they spoke to Citi News.
“My garden eggs and which I bought for GHS900 and okro for GHS800 respectively are perishing due to the lockdown and you are instructing us to stay home,” a trader lamented.
“At least they should consider us to let us sell our goods then we can comply with the law but now we are dying because of almost three weeks of no work. They should consider us because of fasting. If we don’t go to the market to sell we can’t eat,” said another trader.
The Nima Divisional Police Commander, ACP Abraham Acquaye who supervised today’s operation said: “We had initial resistance from other traders that they were not properly brief and informed. In the end, we were able to educate and convince them about the need to retreat for us to put the necessary structures and systems in place.”
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama had earlier warned of an imminent closure of markets where vendors fail to comply with social distancing directives.
According to her, the need to enforce all relevant protocols to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be paramount in all dealings with the market vendors in the wake of the pandemic.
This follows nationwide disinfection of markets.
The Dr Mensah section of the Kumasi Central Market, markets in Kpando and its environs in the Volta Region, Kasoa New and Old Markets have been closed temporarily.
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly has converted the Takoradi Jubilee Park into a market as a measure to enforce social distancing at the Takoradi Market Circle.