Rivers street traders lament govt ban

Gov Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike addressing journalists

Traders who were banned from hawking their wares along Ikwerre Road in Port Harcourt have berated the state government for making life difficult for them.

The traders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Monday, said that their sources of livelihood had been destroyed.

One of the traders, Atochi Nyejekwe, said she had a small stall in front of the Mile 3 motor park where she sold recharge cards and mobile phone accessories.

“With the ban on street trading, I have been pushed out, they are insisting that we must not return to our businesses.

“No alternative has been given to us, it is from the business that I pay some of my bills, I am currently facing difficulties,’’ Ms Nyejekwe, also a student she said.

Another, Nchelem Ordu, said she was selling fruits and vegetables along Bishop Okoye street but had been pushed out by the state government.

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She said that life had become more difficult since the ban took effect. “I can no longer fend for myself and those depending on me.’’

Ms Ordu called on the state government to provide affected traders with alternative markets to do their businesses.

“Many families have are now finding it difficult to cope, food and other basic needs have become difficult to get, government should please help us,’’

Another trader, Uduak Akpan, who used to sell bread along Ikwerre Road, said the decision of the state government banning street trading was unfair to the lower class.

He said that such policy should have targeted only school-age children who were pushed into the streets by their parents or guardians.

“Making bread-winners like us to be out of business is indeed an unfair and unjust policy to implement, the government needs to think again,’’ he said.

The state government recently banned trading along major streets in Port Harcourt.

The government also said that it would establish a mobile court to try anyone who contravened the order banning street trading.

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