Okada operators ordered out of Awka, Onitsha

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 23 May 2018 | 960 times

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•A cross section of okada riders

The Anambra State Government has banned the operation of commercial motorcycles (okada) in Awka, the state capital, and the commercial city of Onitsha.

The ban, expected to take effect from July 1, 2018, was one of the resolutions of the meeting of the Anambra State Executive Council held on Tuesday (May 22).

A statement made available by James Eze, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Willie Obiano, asked the commercial motorcycle operators to work towards changing their trade or vacate both cities for good.

It explained that the ultimatum was given to okada operators in the two cities as part of the overall strategies adopted by the State Government to deepen its crackdown on crime and restore sanity to Awka and Onitsha.

The statement reads in part: “Residents of some make-shift structures on the banks of the River Niger stretching from Onitsha to Ogbaru have also been given until August 1, 2018 to relocate from those places along the water front as they have been marked for demolition. This is also a part of the campaign against the men of the underworld in the state.

“The deadlines given to Okada operators and the shanty-dwellers are intended to offer them enough time to make the necessary adjustments in order to fit into the emerging socio-cultural scenario in the state.”

According to the CPS, other far-ranging resolutions of the Council include the establishment of a Committee on Environment with a mandate to clean up Anambra State, clearing out garbage dumps and overflowing drainages and demolishing illegal structures that are either obstructing the way or ruining the aesthetics of the Anambra environment.

He said the committee is expected to sustain the on-going campaign to put an end to roadside trading that often leads to avoidable traffic congestion and return sanity to the roads and highways of Anambra State.

The statement further reads: “Reinforcing the hard line posture of his administration against street-trading and erection of illegal structures across the state, Governor Willie Obiano specifically commended the agencies behind the on-going demolition exercise in the state, urging them to sustain the momentum until the state begins to wear a better look.

“The governor also sent a note of warning to owners of illegal structures along the famous Awka Road in Onitsha, saying that very soon the demolition team would sweep through the area.

“He frowned at the current practice by Awka residents who sometimes dump their waste bins right in the middle of Zik Avenue and warned that anyone caught doing that would pay a heavy penalty.”

The statement further announced that important public places like the Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Alex Ekwueme Square and the vast premises of the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) would soon be given a facelift and properly remodelled to fit into the dynamics of the day.

It said that the Amphitheatre of the Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre would be redesigned to serve as a stadium and completed as soon as possible.

The statement warned people encroaching on government land in the state to desist forth with or be to ready to face severe consequences for flagrantly breaking the law.

Source: News Express

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