By Sodiq Yusuf
Hawkers and Roadside sellers have turned walkways in the State of Osun to makeshift selling points and shops.
Findings by OSUN DEFENDER across Osogbo metropolis revealed that the situation has lingered in most parts of the state capital, especially the roads renovated by the immediate past administration in the city centre.
Investigations indicated that while the requisite space was provided with interlocking tiles to aid easy access for passers-by, parking lots for car owners by the roadside, some residents of the state have resorted to using the spaces for other endeavours.
These provisions made at the Workers Drive, Olaiya Junction, Old Garage to Obafemi Awolowo Way, Oba Adesoji Aderemi East Bye-Pass and others constructed by the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration as gathered was intended to ease traffic, vehicular and non-vehicular movement while guaranteeing the safety of all road users.
The initiative, which was an innovation in the history of road construction in the State of Osun also saw the erection of walkway path with interlocking tiles as part of the modernisation and beautification efforts of the previous administration.
Notable among these individuals who have resorted into using the walkways for their businesses are bread sellers, clothes sellers, sellers of food items, among others, while commercial motorcycle operators have also turn ed them to parking lot .
In a chat with OSUN DEFENDER at the Orisunmbare market, Osogbo, a public affairs analyst, Mr. Kehinde Orelope berated the activities of the hawkers and roadside sellers, noting that it is a dangerous trend that has continued unchecked in the last few years.
According to Mr. Orelope, “It is worrisome and against the norm for some people to display their wares on the walkways meant for other purposes. The walkway is meant for passers-by to move freely, thereby safeguarding them from road traffic crashes.
“The situation is difficult that even as a passer-by, you may not be able to manoeuvre your way through. These set of individuals do not allow you to have your way. Everywhere is tight. You know this is an expressway, it is really dangerous if you are not very careful.”
Mrs. Abake Tajudeen, a resident of Alekuwodo in Osogbo, who also decried the situation called on government to proffer a lasting solution.
The housewife, who sells Crayfish and Beef at the Akindeko market, told OSUN DEFENDER that the development affects sales of marketers in the market, as the roadside sellers attract their customers.
“When you check those roadside sellers from the stretch of the railway line from the Olaiya roundabout, they sell almost all what we have in the market. When customers come, they simply accost them and make them to buy from them.
“Customers do not understand this. They just pick up what they want to buy at their convenience. Roadside / street sellers have overtaken business from us. They do not allow us to sell anymore. At first, they had waited till the evening period before displaying their wares but now, they do not even care. Government should help us. Apart from the economic effects on us, it endangers their lives too.”