- On April 6, 2020
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Source: https://citinewsroom.com/ | 31 March 2020
Some of the head porters who were returned to Accra after being intercepted at Ejisu are pleading with authorities to allow them to return to their hometowns in northern Ghana.
The head porters, also known as kayayei, were trying to escape the city to avoid the two-week partial lockdown that has brought economic activity in Accra to a halt.
The porters, most of whom are homeless, make a living carting the goods of customers and traders in some of Accra’s busiest business areas.
Over 70 of the head porters were intercepted at Ejisu on board two cargo trucks heading towards Tamale and Walewale.
The drivers had covered the trucks with tarpaulins to try and smuggle the porters past various checkpoints.
On the orders of the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ejisu, the trucks were returned to Accra.
About 20 of the head porters are now camped around the Baden Powell Hall on the Accra High Street under the watch of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
Hundreds of their colleagues had made their way from Accra to the north in the days leading up to the lockdown.
“We work at Tudu in Accra and decided to return to our hometown upon hearing about the new disease, the coronavirus.”
“We went to the bus terminal but there were no buses so we met this driver who transports tubers of yam and he offered to take us,” one of the porters explained to Citi News.
“We are appealing to the authorities to allow us to go to our hometown,” she added.
The Public Relations Officer for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Gilbert Ankrah, explained to Citi News that the porters were found by a task force during a dawn patrol of the metropolis.
They were taking shelter in the truck and some had children with them.
“We asked them to hold on whilst they get the necessary authorities to ensure that the necessary protocols are followed…We are following the necessary protocols to ensure that what needs to be done will be done,” Mr. Ankrah said to Citi News.