The Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, has commended Abia State Government for heeding the Foundation’s call that Ahiaudele market and abattoir be relocated to a more convenient site after a ghastly accident occurred therein with many lives reported lost.
FENRAD, a pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group, in a statement by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, says, the decision by the State government is a step in the right direction.
Also, the Foundation commended the state government for heeding again its call that heavy-duty and articulated trucks ply the major Abia cities outside business hours and working time.
The press statement reads;
“Having so commended the government, the Foundation wishes now to come to the urgent question which begs for an answer, and which is: what better or contingency plan(s) does the state government have before now regarding the relocation of the market and recovery of parts thereof?
“Now that the government has taken this bold step, which in the thinking of the Foundation is a welcome development, it behoves the government does its maximum best at ensuring that the affected trading community gets due compensation.
“The idea of relocating the butchers and perishable goods vendors to Good Morning Market or anywhere should not just be an afterthought but a strategic policy that ensures a win-win for the government and the affected traders.
“Initially, in a release of February 4, 2022, FENRAD had called on Abia State House of Assembly, the Seventh Assembly under the leadership and speakership of Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji to put up a legislative framework that ensures that heavy-duty trucks do not ply residences in towns and cities where available records show that overhead electric cables, drainages, culverts and buildings and other public properties have been destroyed for the most part.
“While this call, to FENRAD, still stands to reason, it is still worrisome that nothing has been heard from the state legislature. FENRAD, once again, calls on the Seventh Assembly to do the needful as Aba is losing its master plan.
“FENRAD still insists that all the necessary support due them be given the marketers, bearing in mind that with this demolition, an economic dislocation, if not well managed, could be in the offing as parts of Ahiaohuru and Ariaria Markets have been under construction since last year.
“The choice of Good Morning Market, to FENRAD, should not be permanent but a stopgap measure that precedes a better location where potable water supply, public health safety and hygiene are obtainable as a standard abattoir for the Enyimba City. Currently, Aba is shortchanged when it comes to a standard abattoir, and this is regrettable to say the least.
“Lastly, FENRAD calls on the state government to ensure that all the recovered areas of Ahiaudele do not lie fallow or get possibly taken over by layabouts and hooligans. Dualisation of the recovered Ahiaudele areas could forestall future accidents.
“FENRAD also calls on the state government to speed up all ongoing works before the rain returns. Once again, the Foundation commends the state government for the bold recovery step taken and urges it to create a win-win situation for all parties so that justice is served to the Affected parties.