Regional News of 2013-12-28

Accra Central remains unusually calm after Christmas

The Central Business District of Accra (CBD) remained unusually calm without the normal hustling and struggling for space by motorists and pedestrians after the Christmas Boxing day festivities, a visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Friday revealed.

GNA observed that most of the streets leading to and from the Central Business District which contain the city's main banks, biggest market, departmental stores and lorry parks, were virtually empty, contrary to the situation on the eve of Christmas.

The number of customers, window shoppers, has also reduced drastically whilst some shops remained closed; but scores of shop-owners who were operating, had mounted loudspeakers outside their shops blasting music.

Some of the market women described the situation in an interview with the GNA as an annual ritual; “most people after the festivities preferred to stay at home or manage with what was patronised during the festivities.

“Life at the market will pick up after some few days...they will come back to buy,” Madam Adorley Sabutey, a clothes seller stated.

She said even though the atmosphere is dull, due to the fact that there are no customers, “we are making merry and enjoying the festivities”.

Mrs. Emilia Ahiamajor, a jewellery seller said, we anticipated the slow sales after Christmas “that’s why you have to cash in before and during the period...we are now waiting for New Year sales”.

Looking physically tired and sweating she said: “I have walked the entire Makola Market but no sales, as if the customers are on break. Business has been poor after the Christmas celebration. However, I hope to make greater sales as New Year approaches”.

Some street hawkers who mainly cashed on the traffic jams to make good sales also complained, saying the situation was affecting their business “on the street, we make good sales in heavy traffic, but now look, the cars are just moving freely,” Kwame Owusu Frempong stated.

GNA also observed that Police and Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) City Guides who were spotted at vantage points before and during the festivity were absent.

Scores of police personnel were noted patrolling some parts of the Makola Market, Tudu, Railways Station and the main Aflao station.

Most Lorry stations visited were also empty; GNA observed parked vehicles without passengers.

In spite of the low patronage, GNA observed that some traders have taken over the pedestrian walkway around the CBD, forcing people to walk on the main road.

The market condition was exactly the opposite before and during Christmas, when the place was chocked with lots of people and vehicles, which resulted in human beings and vehicles competing for space.