From Abavo Kingsley, Benin




Gov Obaseki

Gov Obaseki

In the resolve of Governor Godwin Obaseki administration to fight against street trading, and keep the State clean, the Edo State Waste Management Board on Monday demolished makeshift shops and shanties located within the Kings Square areas in Benin-City, the State Capital.

The board in conjunction with members of the committee saddled with the responsibility to clean up the state, carried out the demolition exercise as early as 7am.

Makeshift shops and shanties located within the ever busy Lagos Street, Mission Road, Ibiwe and Ekenhuan Road were all demolished to ease the free flow of human and vehicular movement in the city centre.

Traders who displayed their wares on the walkways were also dislodged by the State Waste Management board while the makeshift shops and shanties were set ablaze.

Speaking with newsmen, General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Aiyamenkhue Akonofua, said activities of traders in the city centre have undermined the beautification policy of the state government, hence the action.

According to him, the traders constitute nuisance as the area has become haven for criminally-minded persons.

He further added that the traders’ activities besides hindering the free flow of human and vehicular movement also have made the area untidy.

Akonofua denied the allegation that Government did not inform the traders before the demolition exercise. He said that stakeholders’ meetings were held with the leadership of the traders’ association as sensitization and awareness campaigns to the various markets on government’s plans to evacuate traders from the walkways and the city centre, was also done by government.

Akonofua asserted that the Godwin Obaseki-led government was determined to sustain the fight against street trading as well as ensuring that traders are perpetually kept away from trading on walkways and the King’s Square areas of the state.

However, some of the victims of the government action who spoke to our correspondent described the demolition of their shops by the state government as anti-people as an alternative place was not provided them before the swoop down.

They wondered if this is how the 200,000 jobs it promised would be fulfilled, as they lament that opportunity was not given them to evacuate their wares