The River State government says it will begin the much-awaited clampdown on street traders along Bishop Okoye Street and the Waterline axes of Port Harcourt from Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
The commissioner for special duty, Emeka Onuwu, in chat with radio Correspondents said officials of the state government would arrest anybody caught trading along the areas marked for the exercise. The government official said: “No one man or group of persons can be above the law or above the government of the state. The government of Rivers State has tolerated traders enough. We have begged them and we have given them three weeks’ notice. They begged again and we gave them another one week. Go to Bishop Okoye, this warning or notice is for the Bishop Okoye traders. We are saying; ‘Leave the road and go into the market and sell’. As from tomorrow morning being Tuesday, the 24th of April 2018, we are going to raid Bishop Okoye.’ We will raid you and the moment we catch you, if you are apprehended, we charge you to court. We are not going to beg again. Every trader, if you know you are selling on the road, and those of you who are collecting money from them to give them space on the center of the road where government built, desist from it.”
The commissioner said nobody irrespective of tribe would be spared during the operation leave the road exercise. “The idea behind this movement is simple, Rivers State must be clean, Rivers State must be neat. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Since you know you are not clean, how then are you going to say that you are a Christian, you are going to church to pray? It is a must. You must leave the road. If you don’t leave the road, we will chase you. You must leave the road because we have begged enough. And let me say this to my non indigenes, you are all my brothers. Half of the people doing these things are my brothers and I have called them to order. You cannot go to Imo State and begin to sell on the road. You cannot go to Lagos and begin to sell on the road. Whatsoever, you wish other people do to you, do it to others. If you want your state to be clean, keep Rivers State where you are residing and doing business neat also.”