(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The immediate past Commissioner for Special Duties in Rivers State, Dr. John Bazia has lauded the initiative of Governor Nyeson Wike to clear major roads in Port Harcourt and its environs of traders and illegal motor parks, adding that even in Calabar traders do not constitute a nuisance along the road as was the case in Port Harcourt before the implementation of the new law against street trading.
Dr.John Bazia, who was also a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, said the move of the governor was right and should be supported by all.
“Every right thinking Rivers man and woman should commend the efforts of His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State in trying to ensure that we have a clean environment, and the purpose is to restore the Garden City status that Port Harcourt was known, and for which we are very proud of. Port Harcourt is one of the foremost planned cities in Nigeria.
“If you go to old Port Harcourt township you will see the outlay; the serenity, the flowers, and the playgrounds, and how interconnected the whole place was and still is. And the idea is to have a planned city. If you go to the old GRA, you will see the outlay, the beauty. That was the dream of founders of this city, and Rivers people.
“ Those of us who travel to Cross River State are embarrassed again and again, because what they are trying to achieve there is what Port Harcourt used to be: a city that is very clean; a city that is well laid out. A city that is not dirty. Jokingly, I tell people that when you see a city that is dirty, a city that is un kept, a city where traders will be everywhere and things are disjointed, then of course, you can think about where crime will thrive.
“If we want to ensure that we have a crime free city, we want to ensure that we have a city that is orderly, then we must applaud what the governor is doing. So I am using this opportunity to urge Rivers people to support the governor and ensure that we have sanity, and to ensure that our environment is clean, and that things are done orderly and in designated areas. That way we will bring back the lost glory of Port Harcourt.
“By his action, he has shown that he is a true Rivers man. I appeal to the traders to cooperate with government. They should know that government has them at heart, and the New Mile market is evidence that Governor Wike believes in Rivers State, and that there must be trade and industry in the state.
“At the same time, he feels that there must be an environment that would make them comfortable while going about their business. We need the right orientation. If your product is good, people will come and buy wherever you are; you don’t have to be a nuisance on the road as people can get killed on the road. All business people should cooperate and ensure they are not trading on the streets”, he explained even as he observed that traders in Calabar do not sell on the roads and yet the economy of the state is thriving.