Governor of the Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has given the street traders including roadside mechanics, car dealers, and private taxi park operators, a month’s ultimatum to leave the streets of Port Harcourt.
According to Wike, “I am giving all groups one month to leave the roads. Within this one month, you should find alternative locations to carry on your businesses. By the first week of July, the state government will swing into action. Port Harcourt must be clean, whether you like it or not.”
Addressing them at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday, Wike said the artisans and traders must comply with the stipulated period because his administration is committed to the restoration of the Garden City status of Port Harcourt.
“By the first week of July, the state government will swing into action. Port Harcourt must be clean, whether you like it or not.”
The governor added that he called the meeting to avoid unnecessary conflict and to negotiate the time for all the traders, mechanics and car dealers to leave the roads.
“We have called this meeting to avoid conflict. I called you to discuss the time frame for the implementation and not to change the decision,” he stated.
“Our roads are now mechanic workshops. Our roads are now markets and motor parks. There is this spirit that makes the traders and mechanics believe that you can only make money on the road. We will end that spirit. Your activities litter the road. There will be consequences for mechanics using the road for their trade after one month. The vehicles being repaired will be seized,” Wike stated.
According to the governor, his administration will not allow the operation of illegal motor parks and car shops along the road, pointing out that the police and other security agencies will enforce the directive.
Mr Wike said his administration is resolved to restore the status of Port Harcourt as Nigeria’s “Garden city”.
“You are causing a problem for us, and you have littered our roads,” the governor said.
Rivers State Police Commissioner, Usman Belel, assured that the police would work with the government to ensure that the artisans leave the roads.
However, representatives of the car dealers, motor park operators, mechanics, and traders requested a different time frame to vacate the roads.