Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, South West Nigeria has directed all illegal cow sellers and street traders on road setbacks along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to vacate the area within the next 21 days.
The illegal traders are operating at the Kara, Isheri Warewa axis of the expressway.
According to Abiodun, should the traders fail to vacate after the 21-day ultimatum, all their shanties would be demolished for the proper clean-up of the axis.
The governor said the shanties erected by the traders constitute an environmental nuisance and security risk to members of the public.
He said the shanties also serve as criminal hideouts for street urchins and drug peddlers, “who rob innocent citizens of their valuables in broad daylight”.
The clean-up, Abiodun disclosed, is in preparation for the beautification of the setbacks to complement the reconstruction of the expressway by the Federal Government.
Abiodun gave the directive in a message delivered on his behalf by the Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya, during a meeting with community leaders at the palace of the Olofin of Isheri, Oba Sulaiman Adekunle Bamgbade in Isheri.
The governor, according to a statement on Sunday, said the decision to dislodge the street traders and demolish all their shanties was to restore environmental sanity after several warnings, abatement notices, and other entreaties for them to move to government-approved markets failed.
The release by the Press Officer, Ministry of Environment, Rotimi Odunniyi, stated that Abiodun expressed concerns over the continuous stay of the animal sellers and other traders in the “filthy shanties” which he said they have converted to their homes.
The governor noted that the traders now practice open defecation in the illegal market, adding that the development can lead to an outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera in adjoining communities.
“So, my government will not wait and allow a small group of individuals in the name of trading outside the approved market to to put the safety and health of our decent people at risk,” Abiodun emphasized.
Responding, Oba Bamgbola pledged the commitment of the residents to the government’s efforts in ridding the axis of the menace of street traders.
The monarch admitted that the shanties are not only posing environmental challenges but are being used by criminals to attack innocent residents and other unsuspecting members of the public.