Traders in the Ho Central Market, who are mainly women, have staged a peaceful demonstration against the Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Divine R.K. Bosson, over his alleged disrespect to the traditional authorities. According to them, the MCE had decided not to recognise the Acting Market Queen, and that he had also made several attempts to create confusion in the market.
The traders, who were clad in red clothes, sang war songs while parading through the major streets of Ho. They also carried placards, some of which read: “MCE must go for harassing our Market Queen”, “You cannot disrespect our tradition and culture”, and “Ho Central Market was there before local government started in Ghana,” among others.
The traders, led by the Acting Market Queen, Madam Rejoice Norvixoxo, converged at the forecourt of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), where they presented a petition to the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, which was received by the Regional Coordinating Director (RCD), Mr. Isaac Adzah Tetteh.
Mr. Tetteh assured the market women that the petition would be given to the Minister, and the necessary action would be taken to promote peace in the market.
According to the petition, since Mr. Bosson took over as the MCE, he had been harassing the Acting Market Queen, who was appointed by the Paramount Queenmother of the Asogli Traditional Area, Mamaga Akua Dei II.
According to them, the conduct of the MCE showed gross disrespect to the chiefs of Asogli, queenmothers, and elders.
The market women in their petition said, the appointment of Madam Norvixoxo by the traditional authorities was done long before Mr. Bosson was appointed as the MCE, and cautioned that they would not allow the MCE to continuously ridicule their chiefs and queenmothers.
The statement continued that the MCE had been using the security agencies such as the police and National Investigation Bureau (NIB) to harass the Market Queen. According to them, the two security agencies arrested the Market Queen and detained her for days without any charge, under the alleged instruction of the MCE.
The MCE was also alleged to have made a public announcement that the traders should disregard Madam Norvixoxo as the Market Queen, because the Assembly did not recognise her. This conduct, they argued, was a violation of traditional norms and practices, which the MCE had directly countered the appointment made by the chiefs.
The market women said they would not allow any government official to either insult their chiefs or show any act of disrespect towards them, as was being carried out by the Ho MCE. They alleged that the MCE was planning to also appoint a new Market Queen to undermine the appointed by the traditional authorities, and that they (market women) would not allow that to happen.
The statement further alleged that the MCE, at the recent 66th Independence Day celebration, paraded party foot soldiers and named them as traders in the Ho Market.
The market women have, therefore, appealed to the Regional Minister to intervene to establish the role of the Assembly and that of the Market Queen, as has been the practice in the region and the country in general, to ensure peace in the market.
When contacted, MCE Bosson denied all the allegations levelled against him, and described the demonstration as a calculated attempt to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.
Mr. Bosson explained that when he became the MCE, he, in collaboration with key officers of the Assembly, identified loopholes in revenue collection and decided to put in place measures to increase revenue on market days from GH¢2,000 to GH¢8,000.
The development, he noted, had affected some of the market women, including the Market Queen, who were engaged in illegal collection of money from the traders.
He said the Ho Central Market land was leased and the Assembly continues to pay a fee every month to the land owners. Apart from this, the stores and sheds in the market were built by the Assembly, therefore, they had the responsibility to ensure smooth revenue collection and effective management of the market.
Mr. Bosson believed that the measures put in place to increase revenue might have infuriated the market women, hence, the demonstration.