Traders at the Assakae Market in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis of the Western have threatened to vacate the market if the collection of double market toll by the traditional leaders is not stopped.
They have thus issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Assembly to resolve issues surrounding the collection of dual tolls at the market or face their wrath.
The traders on Thursday, February 15 besieged the premises of the Assakae Traditional Council to demand why they were being forced to pay two different market tolls to two divisional chiefs.
A chieftaincy dispute in the area, which has two people calling themselves chiefs, has resulted in the traders bearing the brunt as each faction insists on collecting market tolls.Those who refuse to pay are at times assaulted, according to the traders.
Mina Atta, a gari seller at the market narrated how some traders were assaulted on Wednesday, and had their wares seized by toll collectors of one of the factions.
“They slapped one woman and destroyed her wares. They also seized some of her wares,” she told Connect FM’s Richard Ato Koomson.
The traders told Connect News that what has incensed them the more is that the fifty pesewa toll they used to pay daily has become one cedi because of the double payment.
Meanwhile, they have to trade in the open without any shed, exposing them to the vagaries of the weather; whether rain or shine. They claim that has been their plight for the past ten years.They say a meeting with the traditional council to resolve the issue has been unsuccessful.
The Assakae market queen, Auntie Naana said they have lodged several complaints with the Kwesimintsim and Western regional Police Command but all to no avail.
The Kwesimintsim District Police Commander, Supt. Peter L Aidoo confirmed that a report has been made to his outfit, and that a meeting scheduled Thursday between the two factions had to be postponed because of the Vice President’s visit to the Metropolis.