Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has approved the restriction of the movement of heavy-duty vehicles within the Aba, Umuahia metropolis between 6 am and 9 pm daily.
The Abia State Government also announced the closure of the Waterside abattoir and Ahia Udele market in Aba permanently.
All these follow the killing of about 6 people last Thursday by a trailer loaded with a container that was said to have lost its breaks and rammed into Ahia Udele market along the Ogbor Hill, Aba.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who met with traders of the closed markets in Umuahia informed them that the closure, as directed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, was aimed at safeguarding life and preservation of public health.
Later in a statement, the Commissioner for Transport, Chief Godswill Uche Nwanoruo, during the inauguration of the Ministry’s Special Duty Taskforce on Transportation, disclosed that subsequent upon that incident the Governor of the state has approved the ministry to regulate the movement of articulated vehicles from the 14th of February 2022.
According to him, “From the said date, no truck/trailer would be allowed to ply roads in Umuahia and Aba metropolis, between the hours of 6 am to 9 pm, so as to curtail the incessant road accidents caused by these vehicles.”
“We must ensure we have good road networks in Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia”, he said adding that the security agencies would be working with the Special Duties Taskforce to ensure full compliance.
In his statement, the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Okiyi, had expressed the deep pains and sympathy of the government to the traders over the accident that claimed six lives and informed that Governor Ikpeazu had directed the ministry to ensure that the medical bills of injured persons are settled by the government.
He said, “It will be irresponsible of this government to sit idly by and watch while the life and livelihood of our people are threatened daily by the very real hazards of doing business in and around the closed markets.
“We feel your pains and understand the circumstances that led to the market springing up there but we will have no excuse whatsoever to give to posterity if we fail to do the needful immediately.”
He advised all concerned to ensure they move out all their items before the close of business at the end of the day.
The commissioner further stated that the Governor had directed the executives of Good Morning market in Aba to allow displaced traders from Ahia Udele to take up vacant shops in the market immediately without demanding rent from them for at least 3 months in order to make them settle with ease and continue their businesses with minimal or no challenge.