Traders on the main streets of Tamale are seething with anger after a massive decongestion exercise in the Northern regional capital early Monday morning.
The exercise in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly led by the Mayor, Musah Iddrisu Superior, has displaced scores of traders.
According to city authorities, the exercise is to get rid of vendors and hawkers trading along some designated streets.
Some of the affected traders say they were made to understand that the exercise was for only those who are trading on the main streets only for the exercise to be extended to those selling outside the peripheral of the streets.
A trader who spoke to Joy News’ Hashmin Mohammed said he was not aware that where he was selling was part of the places being decongested.
He said although they were given a month’s notice and a lot of information was spread around before the decongestion exercise, “they never came to my place in spreading the messages about moving away from here, they only said those selling on the bicycle lane.”
“I am happy, however, that the District Chief Executive said that those who want to sell at places which belong to the Assembly should contact his office,” the trader said.
The traders said they were ready to move to a designated place if the assembly provided them with one.
Speaking to Joy News, Mr Iddrisu Superior said, “the business district of Tamale is in a mess which makes the movement of vehicle and people very difficult.”
He said he received lots of complaints from residents who are not happy with the chaotic nature of the streets in the metropolis.
“When I was first appointed as mayor, my first statement to the residents was that I was going to decongest the city and show leadership,” he said.
He described the exercise as a long-term strategy explaining that there was a series of serious consultations with opinions leaders, Imams and other residents before implementation of the decision.
“We are going to sustain it. I am a very indefatigable individual that is why I am leading it with the commanders. I will not discuss the strategies in the media but it will be sustained until I am no longer Mayor,” he said.
He said those who are displaced have been asked to go to any of the seven satellite markets in town.
Meanwhile, Mr Iddrisu Superior said the numerous beggars who are spread on the streets of Tamale have all been cleared and warned not to be on the streets.
“Nobody begging and no business should be done on the street. It is the Assembly’s responsibility to ensure that the people are safe and alive,” the Mayor stated.
He said he will not countenance acts that will endanger anyone’s life noting if there is an accident the casualties will be high so it is better to take everyone off the street for their own safety.