The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to move against traders, mechanics, and artisans if they do not take their trade away from the roads in Port Harcourt.
Mr Wike, on Friday, invited traders, private park operators, and mechanics to a meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt, where he told them that it was time to clean up the city.
“I am giving everybody one month,” Mr Wike said at the meeting. “Everybody should leave the road.”
“Today is May 31. By June 30, it will be one month. On July 1, you’ll see me. Anything you see, you take it. Port Harcourt must be clean, Port Harcourt must be free, whether you like it or not,” Mr Wike said.
The governor said he called the meeting to avoid any conflict with people who were using Port Harcourt roads for street-trading and other businesses.
“How many of you would be happy if you build a road, and most of you have taken over the road as mechanics? Mechanic is on the road now. Our roads have become mechanic workshops. Our roads have now become markets.
“You build motor parks, but you won’t want to use the motor parks. You build markets, you don’t want to use the markets. There’s a spirit in you that you can only sell if you are on the road or you can only repair a vehicle well if you are on the road.
“That’s too bad. Tell that spirit that the time has come, I am going to kill that spirit. I am going to kill that spirit,” the governor said, eliciting applause from a section of the audience.
Port Harcourt, nicknamed the Garden city, has over the years been soiled by street-trading and indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Mr Wike said his administration is resolved to restore the status of Port Harcourt as Nigeria’s “Garden city”.
“You are causing problem for us, you have littered our roads,” the governor said.