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Unspeakable Exercise   
 
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10-Dec-2011  
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Dome Market
 
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A few days ago, for most part of the morning, the Dome Market was the cynosure of Accra, not for good reasons though.

The scene was a re-enactment of many before it. Local authorities had gone to dislodge the women from a place they had long plied their trade of selling an assortment of wares and foodstuffs.

The women were descended upon by local authorities, with the support of the police, in an attempt to remove them from the location so, as the media was told, the owner of the place can commence the construction of a project.

We were also told that the land belongs to the state and that a market complex or so is about to be constructed on the site. The tales surrounding the market are reminiscent of the opaqueness surrounding government business and operations in general.

Had the operation been underpinned by truth and transparency, what ensued could have been obviated.

The exercise was characterized by a confrontation between the resisting market women and the police, a running battle of sorts carried live on some radio stations.

The relevant authorities, local government appendages such as municipal and district councils, have a record of mismanaging relocations, with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) topping the list and their Kumasi counterpart following.

In her intervention, the NPPs parliamentary candidate for the Dome/Kwabenya constituency, Adjoa Sarfo, expressed disdain at the manner in which the whole exercise was handled.

We could not have agreed more with her given the fact that there did not appear to have been any preliminary engagement with the women to sensitize them on their imminent dislodgment. If indeed the site is a state one, there could have been the offer of an alternative location to mitigate the arising inconvenience and shock. After all, state projects are about altering positively the lives of people, the market women inclusive.

On the other hand, if the site belongs to an individual, as one of the tales sought to convince Ghanaians, engaging such owners for a gradual repossession could have been a better option.

A situation where market women wake up one morning to find their tables and wares in flames cannot pass for a decent manner of handling issues. The burning of wares belonging to market women slated to be dislodged is a preferred option of local authorities and it is done by their assigns at night. The aftermath of such crude actions can even lead to fatalities occasioned by the shock that victims suffer on seeing the ashes of their wares, when they turn up the next day to commence their businesses.

A picture of market women, some of them deliberately half-naked, hurling stones at the police, and the security agents baton-charging on them does not present a decent picture of a country which claims to have scaled more notches on the governance decency table.

Most of these women, as we all know, are important breadwinners in their families as their husbands are unable to do same because of joblessness. In some cases, the women, single as they are, must face the challenges of their situations and feed the children abandoned by irresponsible men.

The pent-up anger from such women can be dangerous when poorly managed. What happened at the Dome market could have claimed lives if it had continued for a little longer.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide Ghana
 
 

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