The Enugu State Government on Monday vowed to clamp down on traders across the State capital who have turned roads in the State into market places.
Observation showed that several roads in the State had become impassable owing to the activities of the traders.
Enugu State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Hon. Samuel Ogbu Nwobodo gave the stern warning as he led a government team round some areas in the State.
The team made up of the commissioner, three council chairmen within the Enugu metropolis, the President of Enugu Traders’ Association, among others, carried an on the spot assessment of the level of incursion into the roads by traders.
Places visited included the Mayor Market, the Garki Market, the Timber Railway crossing, all in Enugu South; Agbani Railway crossing in Nkanu West, Emene Railway crossing, Abakpa Market in Enugu East as well as Ogui Junction in Enugu North.
Reports reveal that Abakpa was the worst hit as almost all the streets within the Market area have been turned to open shops, blocking them completely against traffic.
Addressing journalists at the end of the exercise, an enraged Nwobodo said the government would come out in full force to ensure that the roads were cleared.
“What we saw today is quite a bad sight and it cannot stand. One can’t imagine a situation where roads have been completely turned to shops.”
“These are all tarred roads but you can see that traders have completely taken over; it is even hard to know that there are roads here. I don’t know how it got to this point.”
“So, we have come to tell the traders to have a re-think. The local government has promised to help them get shops but even if they don’t have shops, it doesn’t give them the right to convert roads to market.”
“This situation is not good for the road users; it is also not good for road users because a vehicle may develop brake failure and there will be mass casualty. If such thing happens now, it will seem like government is not doing what it is supposed to do.”
“We are here to sensitize the people because government is interested in their welfare. We advise them to quietly vacate government roads; they should go into the market.”
“However, if they fail to adhere to this warning, there will be enforcement; it is obvious we have to do the right thing as a government.”