The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) has ordered all bystanders, hawkers, highway traders and petroleum tankers at Eke Obinagu, on the Enugu-Abakaliki-Cameroon Highway, to vacate all sides of the Trans-African Expressway within 14 days or face severe sanctions, including demolition of structures and prosecution of offenders.
The Eke-Obinagu Road market has experienced perennial traffic worsened by the menace of petroleum tankers parked on both sides of the road.
The most recently ghastly auto crash on the road claimed the life of the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Infrastructure, Fidelis Nweze.
Travellers and motorists are usually held up in traffic for hours in the Emene axis of the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway on account of congestion caused by heavy-duty trucks and petroleum tankers parked by the sides of the road and commercial activities in Eke-Obinagu market.
Chairman of ECTDA, Denge Josef Onoh said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, after so much effort at controlling traffic at the Eke-Obinagu/ NNPC axis, ordered the ECTDA to ensure that market traders relocate to their designated and developed market adjacent to the NNPC depot, which he said they left unoccupied.
He lamented that Ugwuanyi had, on occasions, personally controlled traffic at Eke-Obinagu/NNPC Junction, which, he said, was embarrassing, “yet the illegal road occupiers failed to reciprocate his concern in the area.”
Onoh further disclosed that his agency had made arrangements for relocation of all NNPC depot tankers and auto mechanics who had occupied the two sides of the Trans-African Expressway so as to ease traffic and save lives at the congested area.
He 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, 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 flayed impunity.
“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 entire area,” Onoh said.
He stated that any form of resistance would be met with superior force and urged illegal occupiers of the affected places to comply with the directive.
“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 would affect all structures built along transmission lines; illegal markets and motor parks built in the area that had turned Abakpa from a well-planned city into a slum.
“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 its glory and serenity. To all defaulters, I assure them that demolition continues until sanity is restored and I owe no one apology,” Onoh said.