THE government of the State of Osun has commenced the enforcement of the ban on roadside and walkways trading in the state.
It would be recalled that the state government, after its Executive Council meeting last Tuesday, announced the ban, noting that it became necessary due to the growing traffic snarl and danger to everybody using the markets.
The State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, who made the disclosure also announced the setup of task force to enforce the ban imposed on the roadside and walkways trading and arrest violators.
OSUN DEFENDER visited some of the major market in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and observed that the ban was enforced as traders were not allowed to display their goods on the roads and walkways.
The medium also noticed the presence of security operatives as well as the waste management team who were on ground to make sure the directive was complied with.
At the popular Owode Ede Market on Wednesday, the traders were moved behind the barrier with police officers, men of the South-West Security Network codenamed Amotekun and members of the Osun Waste Management on ground to see to the implementation of the directive.
It would be recalled that the wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, was attacked by suspected hoodlums recently at the Owode market, a development many believed birthed the ban on roadsides, walkways trading by the government.
A trader at the market, Mrs. Funmilayo Arowosegbe, while speaking with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, disclosed that the presence of the security personnel forced the traders to comply with the directive.
According to her, those who had been using the road and walkways to display their goods had to return home as there was no place for them to use. Arowosegbe who credited the government for taking the long overdue step, however said the government ought to have provided an alternative for the traders in the market.
She said, “All I can say is that the government has done a very good thing and it is long overdue. People trading on the road are risking their lives for the little money they want to get. When we heard about the ban, some people thought it was a joke but as you can see, the government is not joking at all. It even brought police officers and Amotekun here. The only thing I think the government should have done before the ban is providing an alternative or at least, giving the traders sometimes to sort themselves.”
The ban was also effectively enforced at Igbona and Ota Efun markets on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
OSUN DEFENDER was at the markets and observed that traders were prevented from occupying the walkways and roadside.
Speaking with the medium, a police officer who does not want his name in print, said they were there to enforce the ban with a warning not to harass anyone in the course of doing the job.
He said, “We are here to make sure the people comply with the directive of the government and nothing more. It is a combined effort from the police and other agencies and we are working to make sure everything is in order. Nobody is going to be harassed. What we are to do is to maintain law and order and in the case someone or group wants to prove stubborn, we will only take the person(s) to the station.”
The officer maintained that the traders had been cooperating with the security personnel, adding that they made them realise it was for their safety and sanity in the State.