From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
Ahead of the visit of World Bank to help Enugu State review its urban master plan, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday visited the Old Market, Kingsway and Onitsha roads known for road obstructions to appeal to roadside traders and motor park operators on the main road to vacate immediately.
The governor, who embarked on the tour of the three roads with officials of the Enugu State Capital Development Authority, the police and some of his aides, ordered the seal off of some bus terminals whose operators had encroached deeply on the major roads, thereby causing traffic snarl.
At the Holy Ghost area close to the Ogbette Market, the governor asked owners of the 29 makeshift shops defacing the state Library to leave the place immediately.
To cushion the effect of the relocation order, Ugwuanyi said he would give each of the shop owners N30,000, while two women among them who cried out that they are graduates but have no jobs, were offered automatic employment by the governor.
Ugwuanyi also sealed off the premises of some bus companies along Ogbette Market, whose terminals and buses had caused obstructions on the road, urging the police to arrest any street trader or bus operator who would come out today to obstruct the free flow of traffic on the road again.
Some of the bus operators affected are Ekwulobia Motors, Pymonak Transport Service, God is Good Motors, Chimkasimma Consulting Services, RTC Motors, E-Ekesons, Onitsha South Plus, Chisco Transport Ltd; Rochi Mass Transit, Globis Motors, Ziko Motors, Ifeanyichukwu Motors, F.G. Onyenwe Motors, Chukwudi Motors, G.U. Okeke Motors, among others.
The governor who came down from the beginning of the Old Market road stopped at random to address the street traders, urging them not to come back to the road today to display their wares as the police have been advised to arrest those who would flout the appeal.
On Kingsway road at the front of the Prison Training School, the governor was told how prison warders were collecting N200 from bus operators every day to allow them load in front of the prison, which Ugwuanyi said was supposed to be a no-parking area.
The governor who had intermittently engaged the traders who trooped to listen to him in worship and songs sessions appealed to them to please stop trading along the roads and join in his urban renewal efforts.
When he got to the terminal of Enugu Transport Company (ENTRACO) on Onitsha Road opposite Radio Nigeria, he urged them to relocate without further delay to the new place given to them.
When he got to the New Market also on Onitsha Road he said: “All street traders should move into stalls, that is why I came to the New Market to plead with my brothers and sisters. It won’t be wise for the poor to be arrested by the police tomorrow and they go to the stations to begin to bail themselves.”
Ugwuanyi at the end of the tour of the three roads ordered the police to enforce the orders, beginning from today, adding that the tour would also take him today to Abakpa and others areas where street trading and loading of vehicles on the road have continued to give headache to road users in the state.