The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has blamed the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the twin fire outbreaks that have ravaged more than 500 shops at Asafo and Kajetia markets in within 72-hours within the Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region.
A statement issued and signed by the Ashanti Regional Secretary, Kwame Zu is calling on government to as a matter of urgency roll out compensation packages for all the victims who have lost their seed capital in the twin fire that started on Holy Friday.
“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 statement said.
According to him, the erstwhile John Mahama administration placed premium on markets which is why several of them within the Ashanti region were constructed and other given a facelift partly because some of the structures were old and dilapidated, weak and prone to fires.
He however observed that the current government has failed to focus on this despite borrowing over 70billion Ghana Cedis with no market initiated and constructed over the past two years in power in the Ashanti Region.
“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”, the statement stressed.
Read the full text of the statement below;
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. Obogu 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)