By Chris Chimezie
Worried by the huge traffic along Oja-Oba and Arakale axis of Akure, the Ondo state capital by traders selling along the roadsides, Ondo State Government has proposed an evening and Sunday markets to address the situation.
Chairman of the Committee and Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Mr Tobi Ogunleye in a chat with Government House reporters in Akure, said the committee arrived at the decision during their meeting.
He hinted that the decision would soon be implemented after all modalities would have been put in place.
Ogunleye who decried the manner at which traders use their goods to cause untold traffic at the Akure metropolis during official hours, said the move is to make traders make use of the government parks along the corridors to enable free flow of traffic.
According to him, ”In view of the nauseating traffic congestion within Akure metropolis especially in Oja Oba and Arakale, the Ondo State government has setup a committee to address the issue.
”The committee has met and came up with a proposal to create an evening and Sunday market in order to evict most of the hawkers using major roads as their stalls and our various parks within that jurisdiction especially Olukayode park in order to suppress traffic and make the road free.
”The Parks which included the MKO Abiola Democracy Park, Arakale and Olukayode parks will be used as evening markets after the close of work by workers on week days.
”We have visited the Akure Central Mosque and we told them of this development and how we plan to achieve it in due course.
”The committee also met with some Igbo traders who are most guilty of this act to see reasons to this development as government will not fold its arms and allow the rights of other people be trampled upon”, he said.
The Special Adviser maintained that the committee intend to do a demonstration work in these areas, but added that the annual leave tradition observed by the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi which compelled traders selling around the palace to move to the road side, hindered their move.
He however informed the public that the committee won’t allow tradition to give room for lawlessness and therefore called on traders in the axis not to use the ‘Ulefunta’, the Deji’s annual leave as an opportunity to constitute further trading along the road.
”They should not see the traditional rites being performed by the Deji as a license to display their wares by the roadsides, thereby inhibiting free flow of traffic”, he warned.
Ogunleye emphasised that enforcement will soon be carried out to make the road free for users.
He however, assured that the new development will not in any way make life unbearable for the traders as government will make it affordable for them.