Hundreds of traders and drivers are struggling to re-settle after their eviction from the Joe Boy Bus Terminal at Alabar in the Asokore Mampong Municipality.
There was a heavy joint military and police team Monday morning to carry out the operation as had been sanctioned by a court.
Makeshift structures, containers and other valuables had been demolished at the time XYZ News’ Ashanti regional correspondent, Jonathan Ofori visited the spot.
Traders who admitted being served prior notices by the assembly, were also spotted counting their loses.
Others who have been trading in the market for years, said the traders were being victimised for trying to earn an honest living.
The terminal, which serves passengers travelling to destinations in the three regions of the North for decades, has always been a source of conflict between supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), whenever there is a change in government.
The Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly in a letter copied to the leadership of the driver unions informed them about relocation plans to pave way for the redevelopment of the terminal.
The letter, which was issued by the Assembly after an emergency meeting between the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), the Ashanti Regional branch of the Peace Council, and some leadership of the driver unions on 17th January 2018, stated that “The Assembly wishes to inform you that it will take six months for the project to be completed, you will be allowed to go back and continue with your businesses at the new Joe-Boy station”.
Temporary terminals for drivers
The Assembly has prepared temporary terminals at the Asawasi market and Ashtown to aid the relocation of the drivers and traders to continue with their businesses until the redevelopment of the Joe-Boy terminal is completed.
The Assembly has also provided the needed facilities to enable the drivers and traders carry out their businesses with ease.
Some members of the driver unions (GPRTU) at the terminal who were not satisfied with the explanations given to them by the Assembly took the matter to court to contest the relocation.
After five appearances at a Kumasi High Court which was presided over by His Lordship, Justice C.A Wilson concluded that “I am satisfied that the Municipal Assembly is carrying out a public function, but the defendant GPRTU stands to be adversely affected.
Consistent with the opinion expressed above, I shall grant the application and order the plaintiff (GPRTU) to vacate the land within five weeks from the date hereof that is on or before the 15th day of April, 2018. This ruling determines the matter and if the plaintiff/applicants fails to comply with the order, the order may be enforced by the execution process.”
Assembly’s engagement after court ruling
According to Chief Executive for the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, the Assembly has held over fifty (50) meetings with the leadership of the unions and has also served them with notices and reminders to get them to comply with the ruling of the court and vacate the premises.
He said the Assembly will maintain its earlier pledge to allow the drivers to go back to the terminal immediately after the project is completed.