Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly demolishes old market
The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly has demolished structures belonging to individuals at the market site to pave way for the building of a new market. The proposed market complex will have offices, super markets and banks but the traders have expressed displeasure about the demolition exercise. The traders should have moved to a renovated market about six years ago but they refused, claiming the new place was small and could not contain all of them. The Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Epsona Ayamga, said it was not true that the renovated site was too small to contain them and said they were just refusing to move. He said the traders had been served with notices to move to the renovated market by the Assembly some six years ago and recently radio announcements were made to remind them to that effect but they have refused to move to the area. “Over the years many attempts to move them from the temporal market has been a problem and politics read into it. I think the time is up now. The demolishing is not bad because we have to create space for bigger development,” Mr Ayamga said. “The Bolgatanga Municipality also deserves Development. If you care to know 2011 has been declared an ‘Action Year’ by the President and we must all make sure it works.” Mr Ayamga said other regional capitals were developing and Bolgatanga should not be left behind and added “We have no bad intention against the traders; the action is for the good of Upper East region and Municipality as a whole.” Most of the affected traders, numbering over 1,000, said they were surprised by the action of the Municipal Chief Executive and the Assembly for the demolition exercise on Saturday which was a market day. They said they had planned to pack their things and to move to the renovated market site on Sunday but the Municipal Assembly arranged for a bulldozer and security personnel to destroy their stores with their wares. The traders said the demolition exercise also created a free day to thieves who took advantage of the situation to steal items from unsuspecting store owners under the guise of helping them to pack their items. They said the renovated market was not large enough to contain all the traders and that the few market stalls had been taken over by others leaving majority of them not having access to the market stalls. The traders were forced to move to the new market site for a temporal stay about 10 years ago for the old market to be renovated to befit the status of a Municipality.