By: Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
The Edo state government yesterday commenced the enforcement of its “Operation Clean up” Benin City from the popular Road, prohibiting street trading in the city.
The task force members who cleared the popular Lagos street, Ring road, Oba market, Ibiwe, Ebo street, Omo street, Lagos street, Mission road, Iguisi, Palm Palm, led by Comrade Tony Kabaka Adun and Yusuf Osagie, appealed to security agents to assist as some of the beneficiaries of what he described as the “madness” at Ring road and Lagos street are threatening them with arms.
Over the years, Lagos Street, Ringroad and other adjourning streets have become impassable due to street trading, dirt and activities of bus drivers.
Following the state government resolve to clear the area of the menace, members of the task forced commenced operations at about 10pm Sunday night and residents of Benin City were shocked to wake up to see a new environment.
The Secretary to the state Government, Osarodion Ogie, who reacted to the development, said government urged the affected persons to utilize the shops in the markets as government would no longer tolerate what he described as a “disorganized Benin City”.
His words, “You recall that about a month ago we had a stakeholders meeting which we
invited residents from the streets around the King square, Ebo street, Tebite, Ugboagbe and others. We told them that we cannot continue business as usual and there was need to clean up Benin City. In doing that we also agreed that the existing markets have enough spaces for our traders. The governor inspected Oba market and we found that half of the shop there are unoccupied.
“The same thing Agbado market, infact the whole of Uwa market is empty. So today we started with ring road and Lagos Street, we intend to follow it up to other streets, all traders on the walk way are prohibited. We will not allow it, our roads must become passable again, traffic must flow on the Ring Road, Lagos street and other roads. For over ten years now Lagos street have become impassable, but the government has resolved in clearing those areas” he said.
Ogie added that “Government has identified bus terminals so that buses do not park on ring road. And you recall that during the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, certain roads were rehabilitated around Oba market to make traffic movable. We intend to put on ground enforcement units within our traffic agencies to make sure that buses and other vehicles do their businesses without obstructing traffic at Ring road.