6th July, 2011
In his bid to ensure that the state regains its lost glory, the Ogun state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has taken the bull by the horns as he has chased away street traders in the state capital, Abeokuta.
When our correspondent moved round major markets such as Kuto, Sapon, Saje, Itoku and others, the markets and their environment are now clean while only stern looking policemen and officers of TRACE were seen monitoring activities around the markets.
Speaking with our correspondent, some traders expressed happiness with the development while others frowned at it, saying that it is government’s way of bringing hardship to them after they had voted them into office.
Kelechi, a roadside trader at Sapon market said, ”the bold step that was taken by the governor to send us away from where we are trading, though very painful, the end will be okay. A similar thing happened in Oshodi,Lagos when Fashola came to power and now Oshodi is a new city. Amosun means well for us but the man should give us some time to get another place. For me, I love it.”
Another trader in Itoku market who identified herself as Mama Ibeji frowned at the development which she described as not comfortable.
She said,”what the governor did was wrong. Why should he ask us to leave where we are selling? What we heard was that he wanted to ensure sanity in the town. We always clean everywhere when we close, why should he cause hardship for us ? Is this our gain after we voted for them? Are we in Lagos, why is he comparing us with Lagos?”
An official from the Ministry of Environment in Abeokuta who spoke with our correspondent under anonymity confirmed that the directive was from the office of the Governor which emphasised urgency.
According to the source,”what is happening here in Kuto had happened in some areas in the town and we are still going to move to other places to effect the directives.You can attest to what is happening now that it is a good step to clean our state.The governor has directed that the action must be a continuous one. It is not meant to witchhunt anybody. It is the right thing, but between me and you, we know that before Fashola came about what we are witnessing today in Oshodi and some areas in Lagos, it was not easy for the governor when he started. But today, everybody is enjoying what is going on in Lagos.”
Since the traders were dislodged from the roads, the traffic jams in Kuto, Itoku, Lafenwa and other parks in the city have disappeared.
The police have been deployed at all the markets and other areas where people display their wares by the roadside.
It was gathered that the police would be deployed across the state as it was part of the governor’s move to rid the state of street trading.
By Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta