Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr. Musah Superior, is a resolute man; he doesn’t take no for an answer and never easily gives up.
I don’t know the man, but I can extrapolate from a few things that he has done so far as mayor of our wonderful city, Tamale, and draw this conclusion: if he sets his eyes on something, he will push on, until he gets it, regardless of the obstacles thrown his way, be it uncooperative political opponents or recalcitrant street vendors.
Over the last thirty years, Tamale has morphed into a humongous urban center attracting Ghanaians from all walks of life and our brothers and sisters from the West African sub-region. Be that as it may, on any given day, the streets of Tamale, are bustling and teeming with a sea of humanity going about its business with no care in the world.
Now, one major hurdle that has tested the patience of Mr. Superior are the congested streets of the metropolis. Tried as he has, the mayor has not succeeded in cleaning up the streets and taking them from their illegitimate/unlawful owners; hawkers, prostitutes, wee peddlers, and minors or under age children.
Presiding over a large city such as Tamale is not for the faint of heart; it requires a strongman/woman with tact and a heavy dose of moderation and the ability to level with ordinary people.
I am sure Mr. Superior possesses these qualities but he has done a very poor job of putting them to good use particularly regarding the issue of undesirables on the streets of Tamale. His earlier effort to push out street vendors and their allies was a complete dud, a massive failure for the simple reason that he never did due diligence. His approach was ad-hoc and boneheaded.
Mr. Superior is a well- travelled man, I presume and he should therefore have been cognizant of the fact that any attempt by authorities anywhere in the world to deprive ordinary people anywhere in the world of their only means of survival would be met with stiff/stubborn resistance.
Apparently, Mr. Superior has not learnt from his past misstep; he is reloading the same old and unreliable gun he used the last time. He has given hawkers and other illegal street users an ultimatum; they have thirteen days to disappear from the streets or else he will come after them with all the force he can muster. What about talking to them in a very civil and humane way, Mr. MAYOR?
I understand the frustrations of our mayor and members of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly; they really want to clean up Tamale and project it as a large, diverse and welcoming metropolis.
And that is all well and good. But doing so on the backs of street vendors, prostitutes and minors whose fundamental human rights are at stake here, is morally repulsive and politically shortsighted.