Lamentations, frustration as KWSG commences relocation of motor-parks

...transporters kick

By Mumini AbdulKareem and Aminat Babatunde 

Transporters and traders in Ilorin on Saturday expressed frustration over the Kwara government efforts to relocate them from their initial place of trade.

The State government commenced the relocation of transit-buses and traders in Ilorin metropolis to reduce traffic congestion and give the state a new look.

The exercise was jointly carried out by the State Ministry of Environment, Kwara State Road Traffic Management, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp and SARs.

Some of the traders who spoke on the issue said the policy will further compound the economic hardship they are facing now with the attendant effect on their daily expenses.

Speaking with journalists over the issue, the Chief Executive Officer, Kwara State Road Traffic Management, Mr Yekini Babatunde-Bello said Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq gave the directive to relocate the commuters in the affected areas to Soludero Park for the safety of lives and property.

He stated that the measure would make the park conducive for both passengers and drivers to operate adding that the drivers should comply with the directive for the development of the state and safety of the citizens.

He also advised road side traders to veer off the streets and obey rules and regulations of the agency.

Speaking with National Pilot on development, the Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mallam Saidu Akanbi appealed to the Kwara State Government under the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to reconsider the order.

He pleaded with the Governor to thread softly on the issue as it would negatively affect the livelihood of the union members and may put them into labour market. He added that some of the drivers would be rendered jobless as result of the order.

“Our means of survival would be affected and to take care of our family would be difficult. Soludero motor park that the government directed us to will not be comfortable for both the drivers and passengers”, he said.

Akanbi said three higher institutions, University of Ilorin, Kwara State University, Malete among others are already operating in the park, stressing that to avoid conflict among the transporters, the challenge branch needs separate Motors Park.

In a separate chat with this medium, the Chairman Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Challenge branch, Mallam Issa said past administration in the state had made similar move to relocate the park but was advised not to do so considering the effect it would have on both the drivers and passengers.

He said “government owned the lands of which can be used for any other purpose of public interest but if government insist on relocation of the garage, then the Unilorin bus stop and loading point in front of State Ministry of Works should be allocated to the unions as loading points”.

He however, called on the state governor to use his discretion and consider the poor masses who cannot afford to rent shop and make their living through streets hawking.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer, Challenge Park, Mallam Masud Ajadi, said the new arrangement is not comfortable for them. He appealed to the government not to be too hard and harsh in the enforcement of the law adding that their passengers are not only patients and complained about the distance already.

A driver who plies the Tanke root said “They government are not doing what they are supposed to do. There is no reason for this as we have been in this car pack for the past 30 years now. They are saying we should move to another garage, what of does that don’t have car parks around Oja, Sawmill and Oloje. They order should be implemented across board and not selective the way we perceive it now.

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