Posted by News Express | 7 February 2022 | 466 times
By TINA TIMOTHY
Following a fatal accident in which a container truck lost control and rammed into people off the road along Ogbor Hill Aba, near Ahiaudele (Abattoir) Market, the Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) has called on the state government to recover Aba.
The pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group which made the call in a statement on Friday, February 4, 2022, signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, commiserated with the government and good people of Abia State,
According to FENRAD, the accident “is a tragedy for which at national level flags fly at half-mast.”
The group while lending support to the decision of the state government to immediately close the nearby cattle market and abattoir, calls on the government to relocate the butchers and traders of perishable goods as the market “ought not to be there in the first place.”
The statement reads: “FENRAD sends its condolences to all those who may have lost their loved ones as scores were reported dead. To those mourning, FENRAD says 'Take heart.' While this is the case, the Foundation affirms its support for the state government over the immediate closure of the nearby cattle market and abattoir known in local parlance as Ahiaudele, believing as an environmental rights group, that were the city's structural plans followed, the market, now situated near the Aba River, ought not to be there in the first place. Aside from crowd congestion, environmental health hazards with reeking stench from the nearby pigsties pose threat to road users and even residents.
“FENRAD wishes to see the state government do the needful by relocating the butchers and other perishable goods vendors to a better place with potable water. There is need to recover and reclaim that part of the city,” FENRAD said.
Continuing, the Foundation called on Ministry of Transport and its Commerce counterpart to create inter-ministerial synergy that would enhance evacuation of the market, such that creates a win-win for the butchers and perishable items dealers on the one hand and the state government at the other hand; the best mitigation there can be.
“FENRAD also calls on the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, to come up with a legislative framework that bars articulated trucks from plying some routes, especially places within areas with high population density, warning that this kind of accident may happen in the future if the plan of Aba town was not followed.
“FENRAD urges the State Seventh Assembly under the speakership of Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji to come up with a legislative framework that bars articulated trucks from plying some routes, especially places within areas with high population density. FENRAD regrets the trend where unlatched container trucks now flood Aba town, a high-risk activity, where residential areas have all being turned into warehouses, with overhead electric cables, drainages and culverts, buildings and other public properties usually destroyed by these vehicles. If the plan of the town is not followed or recovered, FENRAD warns, chances are that this kind of accident may happen in the future again as population keeps growing without the city expanding. FENRAD extends this appeal also to Ministries of Trade, Environment, Transport and others, to see that such accident is averted through legislative instruments to checkmate the movement of trucks and heavy duty machines during the day especially at the populated areas.
“FENRAD, once again, mourns with those who lost their dear ones, even with the butchers and other sellers in the market whose businesses are affected in the meantime. Human life is not tradable. The Foundation believes time now is to recover Aba,” the statement said.
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