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Residents of Madina-Adentan walk to demand safety for pedestrians

Accra, Nov.12, GNA – -About 100 residents of Madina-Adentan have embarked on a short peaceful walk to back home their demand for the safe use of the Highway in the area by pedestrians.

However, there is a standoff between a section of them who want to continue the demonstration beyond the agreed Tot to Teen School destination, to the Madina Zongo Junction, where they say, the mass of the demonstrators would join.

Earlier on, the Police wanted to prevent the walk, saying it would be in breach of the Public Order Act because the organisers had not gone through the due process to secure the nod of the Police.

However, after some negotiations the demonstrators prevailed.

They started forming up at the West Africa Secondary School as at 0540hours to ready for the  walk, which among other things, is to pressurise the authorities to fix speedily complete the six footbridges on the Highway.

At 0555hours, the Police were at the scene to put proceedings under their control.

The number of residents partaking in the walk grew from about 15 residents at 0540hours to about 30 residents as at 0606hours, when it started; thus amidst singing and drumming to boost morale, they proceeded.

One of the leaders, Selorm, said they would not relent until they had seen some work commencing on the road.

They also want the traffic lights fixed, and the street lights working every night, while the roads are marked.

The Government Friday announced that work on the footbridges would begin today with one contractor working on each road to complete the job in the shortest possible time. The street lights were restored while other safety measures were also announced.

There appears to be division among the leadership as some opined that the Government had started addressing their grievances so the walk should be ended.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Afriyie Sakyi, the Madina Regional Commander, who is leading his side, explained that the walk was against the Public Order Act 1994, (Act 459), because they did not notify the Police.

Nana Ampomah, the Chairman of the Executives of the « Fix the Footbridges » Campaign encouraged the members to comply with the law enforcers.

The residents did not allow Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, the Independent Candidate in the 2016 election who attempted to address to speak.

The Police had guided the residents through the pedestrian walkway from WASS through to the uncompleted foot bridge at Tot to Teen School.

Many pedestrians have died on the road over the years. The Police put the figure of fatalities at 24, while residents claim they are 94.

The knocking down to death of a female student of WASS on Thursday sparked spontaneous riots with residents blocking the road with burning tyres.

They clashed with riot control police and fire fighters who moved in to restore normalcy, resulting in a stray bullet injuring a young boy.

The Government quickly moved in the following day to announce measures to quickly resolve the near a decade long problem.

The greater part of the road was completed some seven years ago but it is not fully done, nor handed over to the Government over some unpaid bills to the contractor.