From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to hawkers, highway traders and petroleum tankers obstructing traffic at Eke Obinagu, Oye-Emene and Abakpa areas of the state.

ECTDA Chairman, Mr Josef Onoh said that the ultimatum was at the instance of the state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who had made previous efforts at controlling traffic flow and decongesting the affected areas.

Onoh said that the governor has now ordered the agency to ensure that the market traders at Eke-Obinagu relocate to their designated and developed market adjacent to the NNPC depot which he said they left unoccupied but came out to the road.

He further disclosed that his agency has made arrangements for relocation of all NNPC depot tankers and auto mechanics who have occupied the two sides of the Trans-African highway so as to ease traffic and save lives at the congested area.

Onoh stated that in line with the agency’s development control mandate, he, in company of the traditional ruler, the Surveyor General of the state, House of Assembly member Hon Hillary Ugwu; Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Transport, Ogbonna Idike and Governor Ugwuanyi’s aides visited Eke-Obinagu, Emene and Abakpa crowded areas where they resented to the impunity violations of city development control in the guise of trading along major streets in the areas.

He therefore extended his eviction notice to the remnant traders at the former Oye-Emene market and every street trader along Amuri road, Taxaco and Liberty bus stops and all other hawkers along Nike road in Abakpa area of the metropolis.

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“In the events of these therefore, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority hereby gives all illegal markets and shanties that have dominated the Eke-Obinagu/NNPC way 14 days from now to relocate as demolition of the 216 illegal structures, makeshift markets and shanties that have defaced that entire environment and have increased robbery, drug abuse, making it difficult for people with genuine business to move freely. After 14 days, the ECTDA will commence immediate and total demolition of that entire area,” Onoh said.

He stated that any form of disobedience or resistance will be met with superior force and urged the illegal occupiers of the affected places to comply with the directive.

“Anybody that fails to comply does that at his own risk as it is even stated in Romans 13, verse 2 and in verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa in the Quran. They are to move to an already existing Eke-Obinagu market close to them that has been left fallow for years. They refused to go there because they want to trade on the road and on public drainages bringing about flooding in the area.

“The same goes to all the illegal shanties and structures along the Rehab road at the former Oye-Emene which will all be demolished. I kindly urge those affected by these activities to quietly and respectively move or they will be moved by force,” Onoh notified.

On the nuisance at Abakpa, the ECTDA boss said that further demolition will affect all structures built along transmission lines; illegal markets and motor parks built in the area that have turned Abakpa from a well planned city into a slum. We will start from NOWAS junction into Abakpa.

“Any bus operating in illegal packs will be impounded, chopped, recycled and sold as scrap metal. All these notices are within 14 days because the past administrations since 1999 had given them notices. We will also continue enforcement in the various layouts that collectively form the Enugu city master plan.

“I assure the good people of Enugu state that Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority will not fail to bring sanity and ensure that Enugu maintains it’s glory and serenity. To all defaulters I assure them that demolition continues until sanity is restored and I owe no one apology,” Onoh said.