Some commuters have been left stranded as commercial drivers Monday began an indefinite strike in protest of increased fuel prices.
The commuters, many of whom were helpless at various bus stops in Accra, expressed frustration at the situation and called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, reduce the prices of fuel to enable the drivers get back to work.
“I have been standing here for close to two hours and there seems not to be any hope in sight. I may as well just go back home,” Rita Mensah, a Senior High School Teacher, said.
The driver unions are calling on the government to scrap taxes, levies and margins on the price build-up and a reduction in the price of fuel – a situation they said was collapsing their business.
They want the government to scrap the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy, Energy Debt Recovery Levy, Fuel Marking Margin, and Special Petroleum Tax, claiming they were the cause of the price build up.
At the Spintex Road, commuters had been left to their fate as available commercial vehicles had been ‘grounded’.
Drivers who defied the directive of the unions had their vehicles indented by a taskforce.
At Kosoa, taxis were cashing in on the situation as some commuters, who were unable to afford taxi fares, looked on helplessly.
Noncompliant drivers were made to offload passengers, midway.
One driver had the headlights of his vehicle smashed.
Around the Kasoa Lorry Station, there was chaos as drivers attempted to prevent tricycle riders from operating.
Drivers at the Agege Lorry Station in Accra, were, however, going about their normal activities as the drivers told the Ghana News Agency, they embarked on the strike in the early hours but had to call it off due to an order indicating that the strike had been suspended.
Some commuters at Lapaz, near the George Bush Highway, who looked visibly frustrated, flouted COVID-19 safety protocols in their quest to get means of transport to work and school.
As at 1000 hours, people looking to engage the services of Uber, Bolt, Yango and others were unable to place orders at Lapaz, Atomic Hill Estates and Adenta SSNIT Flats due to high demand and unusual hikes in fares.
Several commuters, including public sector workers were left stranded at Haasto as drivers parked their vehicles and gallivanting.
The GNA observed that some persons wielding sticks were designated at various stations to enforce the directive from the unions.
At Ashaiman, Commercial Motor Riders, popularly called “Okada”, took advantage of the situation to charge exorbitant fares for their services.
Philip Teye Agbovi, an intern at the Tema Office of GNA, said he paid GHC40 instead of GHC10 for an Okada ride from Ashaiman Lebanon to Tema.
“Okada riders have taken over now while some drivers were spotted playing football,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Godfred Abulbire, General Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), in a statement, at about 1100 hours, said the strike had been suspended following an invitation to the Presidency.
“The leadership of the Union has been invited to the Presidency today. Developments will be communicated to members,” it said, and entreated members to resume normal duties.