The Cross River State Governnent on Sunday demolished over 200 illegal structures at the popular Ika Ika Oqua Market (Marian Market) along Marian road, Calabar Municipality Local Government Area of the state.
Vanguard learned that most of the illegal structures owned by some traders not only obstruct vehicular movement but also constitutes huge nuisance because drainages have been blocked making the environment unhygienic.
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday at the Ika Ika Oqua Market, the Commisioner for Environment, Hon Nfon Bassey, said the general clean up exercise was to make the market clean, hygienically excellent and safe as compared to markets of it’s kind.
His words: “We are just doing a general clean up around the Ika Ika Oqua market. As you can see people have come to build shanties around the market and on the road and they turn into place into a shopping centre.
“You can see even behind me part of the coldtar is being used as refuse dump which is supposed not to be so. Before today when you come around the market there is no road.
“All the drains around the market are completely blocked. As you can also see the traders themselves outside the building lines also brought in their own projections from their shops to the main road thereby making this road impassable in a normal day.
“So we are just trying to sanitise the market, restore it to what it used to be and free the road. So from what we have done today, we are going to have an enforcement team to ensure that the traders do not come back.
Speaking further, the Commissioner explained that traders and owners of the make shift containers were given notice 13 months ago.
“In fairness to them all, today makes it a year and a month that we started announcing the demolition.
“The truth is when you enter the market most of the lock up shops are empty, we want them to go back to their shops inside the market. We want to clean up to create enough space for vehicular movement and easy access .
“I can assure you that after today, we will have enforcement team, they can’t come back here anymore, there will be provision for waste bins too.
“Every member of our cluster including waste management, CUDA and our Ministry will ensure the market remains clean, safe and hygienic. Traders should leave the road and enter their shops inside the market. The market must be clean,” Nfon said.
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