The Ashanti Regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) is demanding the immediate opening of the Kejetia Market for use to pave way for a speedy construction of the Central Market as planned and started by the John Mahama administration.
This comes after two major market facilities in the garden city recorded three separate fire incidents in less than 72 hours.
The first incident occurred on Good Friday, followed closely by the second and third on Saturday and Sunday evening at the Kumasi Central and Asafo Markets.
The Mayor of Kumasi Osei Assibey Antwi in an interview stated that the sequence of the unfortunate incidents cannot be viewed as merely accidents.
“I think I have to be very blunt it is not just an accident that we are witnessing, it started with the Central Market which we all thought it was maybe an accident. Yesterday too, a fire took place and today but now looking at the occurrence of it everything is clear that it is arson, people are behind it.
But the main opposition NDC in the region believes that if the newly built Kejetia Market, which was almost complete before December 2016 and scheduled to have been opened for business by midyear 2017 was functional and the construction of the Central Market which is Phase II of the entire project for which funding was long secured by the NDC government had commenced as planned, the Central Market fire could have been averted.
Although the incident very devastating, the opposition NDC in its statement noted that the sad developments underscore the need for government to invest heavily in the construction of modern markets to avert some of these unfortunate occurrences.
Meanwhile, the statement also asked the government to provide some compensation packages to all victims of the twin fires to enable them bounce back in their business.
Below is the full statement
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS – ASHANTI REGIONAL SECRETARIAT
WE COMMISERATE WITH VICTIMS OF KUMASI CENTRAL MARKET AND ASAFO MARKET FIRES AND IMPLORE GOVERNMENT TO INTERVENE WITH SOME COMPENSATION PACKAGES
The Ashanti Regional chapter of the National Democratic Congress commiserates with all victims whose properties have been razed down by the twin fires of Kumasi Central market and Asafo market over the past three days.
These are very devastating but preventable incidents that denies families of their livelihoods, mothers of the fruits of their toils and sadly shatters the future of some children.
These developments underscore the need for government to invest heavily in the construction of modern markets to avert some of these unfortunate occurrences. It is apparent that most of these infernos occur in old and dilapidated markets that are structurally weak and prone to fires. It was for these reasons that the erstwhile John Mahama led NDC administration invested massively in the construction of markets across the country for which the Ashanti Region benefited greatly, including the Kejetia Market and the under listed markets;
1. Atonsu Market in Kumasi
2. Asawase Market in Kumasi
3. Tafo Market in Kumasi
4. 2 storey 52 stores Market in Bekwai
5. Double- faced lockable stores at Ejura
6. Kunka Market at Obuasi
7. Market stalls at Nkanprom, Odumasi, Akaporiso, Kwabena and Pomposo in the Obuasi Municipality
8. Market stalls at Nsokote in the Adansi North District
9. Market stores at Brofoyedru in the Adansi North District
10. Market stalls at New Edubease
11. Modern Market at Afrancho in the Afigya Kwabre District
12. Jubilee Market at Tepa in the Ahafo Ano North District
13. Market stalls at Asuhyiae in the Ahafo Ano North District
14. Domeabra Market in the Ahafo Ano South District
15. Satellite Market at Wioso in the Ahafo Ano South District
16. Modern Market with stores at Abuakwa in the Atwima Nwabiagya District
17. Market sheds at Nkawie in the Atwima Nwabiagya District
18. Market stores at Anyanso in the Bosome Freho District
19. Market stalls at Drobonso in the Sekyere Afram Plains District
20. 3 storey lockable stores at Kumawu.
The following markets have also been rehabilitated over the tenure of President John Mahama in the Ashanti Region;
1. Market stalls and meat shop at Obuasi Central Market
2. Obugu Market in the Asante Akim South District
We believe that, if the newly built Kejetia Market, which was almost complete before December 2016 and scheduled to have been opened for business by midyear 2017 was functional and the construction of the Central Market which is Phase II of the entire project for which funding was long secured by the NDC government had commenced as planned, the Central Market fire could have been averted.
However, It is regrettable to note that, while our mothers and other market operators continue to suffer from perennial market fires, the Akufo Addo led Administration has borrowed over 70billion Ghana Cedis with no market initiated and constructed over the past two years in power in the Ashanti Region. On behalf of the tax payer, the suffering masses and all victims of these market fires, we demand an immediate opening of the Kejetia Market for use to pave way for a speedy construction of the Central Market as planned and started by the John Mahama administration to prevent further pain and agony to the ordinary Ghanaian.
We also request that government provides with alacrity some compensation packages to all victims of the twin fires of Central and Asafo Markets to serve as a seed capital in their bid to bouncing back on their feet. The Ashanti Regional Executive Committee of the NDC would in the coming days visit victims of these tragic market fires.
We wish to assure all Ghanaians that the NDC will continue to offer a credible opposition to the Akufo Addo led NPP administration so they are not shortchanged in the end. We use this opportunity to wish all Ghanaians the very best of the Easter season.
God bless us all.
(Ashanti Regional Secretary)