Abia State government has disclosed that the ongoing relocation of illegal street traders in Aba will continue until the city is sanitised and decorum brought to bear in the entire life of the city.
This was disclosed in a press statement signed by Godwin Adindu, chief press secretary to the Abia State governor.
The government said after the relocation of illegal street traders to the Goodmorning Market in Ngwa Road, the train will move down to the Abattoir Market at Waterside and from there to other locations where street trading constitutes an environmental nuisance to the city.
The government said the Abattoir Market traders would have to be relocated to another side because of the dredging and expansion of the Aba River, which will recommence very soon.
The entire exercise is part of the large-scale programme of infrastructural renewal and environmental restoration of Aba for which the government created the Aba Urban Renewal Office, and which is aimed at sanitising the city and restoring its original map.
According to Adindu, this broad-based programme of restructuring Aba is a cardinal policy thrust of the current administration and one it is pursuing with passion, dedication and every sense of duty.
The restructuring programme involves a general review of the state of the open markets and a general overhauling of the leadership of the markets, including the associations and the different caretaker committees appointed by government to oversee issues and matters of the markets, he said.
It is for this reason that the government has had to dissolve many of the committees and leadership of the many market associations in Aba, and also had to appoint a Market Review and Development Committee headed by Solomon Nwaigwe, with the brief to conduct a general review of the state of the markets and proffer solutions for charting a new course for the markets.
The government said street trading and street hawking cause a lot of menace both to traffic flow and environmental decency, and pose a great risk to the life of the traders and that is why government has provided alternative marketplaces for these illegal street traders.
Nowhere in the world is the culture of street trading tolerated anymore and therefore Aba traders and residents must cooperate with government agents in the efforts to sanitise Aba and bring decorum to the city and its markets and desist from actions that could lead to confrontation with constituted authority.
There is also need to disabuse the minds of general public against the propaganda peddled by some disgruntled elements that the exercise is targeted against non-indigenes. Aba is a melting pot for all ethnic nationalities in the country. Aba does not only belong to Abians, it belongs to Nigerians and the world. Governor Ikpeazu is rebuilding a new city for the world.
Therefore, political jobbers and enemies of the state who are cashing in on this sanitation exercise to generate crisis and foment trouble are well advised to rethink their mischief. They must desist from acts and statements capable of inciting Aba residents against one another and causing the breach of the prevailing peace in the land.
Government recognises that the mandate to rebuild Aba and other major Abia cities would certainly come with sacrifices and requires the co-operation of all Abians and this is in the overall interest of us all.
The general public is also encouraged to be partners with the law enforcement agencies in their effort to live up to their statutory responsibility of maintaining law and order and protecting lives and property.