…as erring trader faces the full wrath of the law
By Adeola Badru
THE Oyo State Government has begun the implementation of “no roadside trading,’ with a bid to reduce preventable accidents and loss of lives, occasioned by gridlocks that are usually attached to ember months.
The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Mogaji (Dr.) Akin Fagbemi, while monitoring the friendly enforcement at the Mokola roundabout axis of the state on Tuesday, said, the agency embarked on the exercise for routine work in order to ensure that the people are safe in the state, ahead of the ember months.
Fagbemi, while speaking with newsmen after the exercise noted that: “We are aware that one of the challenges we do have is some of our people who trade by the roadside which contravenes traffic rules and regulations and I have to come here personally with some of the top management of OYRTMA to ensure that they comply with the rules and I also want to tell you that we will not do things that will contravene the law and at the same time, we are here to portray the good image of Governor Makinde which everybody is aware of.”
“We are part of them and we must let them understand what we are doing which informs our decision to go there to take them off the road so that they will understand that we are not here to bully them but for them to understand that whenever they are selling on the road, there is a lot of risks involved and to caution them on it.”
“You could see how friendly we were to them. Some of them assisted us to move the motorcycles from the road, they helped the aged to move their wares from the road. We will continue to encourage them and let them know that there is a need for them to keep themselves safe from road accident as it were.”
When asked if traffic offenders would be allowed to go scot-free without any fine or sanction, the OYRTMA boss responded: “We must understand the principle by which this government operates. One of the key parts is we must do what we call friendly enforcement, we must understand that these people are part of us and we must let them understand. I believe as we continue to do the friendly enforcement, they will comply. Do not also forget that there are people who will also want to resist the friendly enforcement we are doing, then the law will take it full course.”
“Last week, we charged over forty traffic offenders to court. We also know that we will continue to do that until our people comply. Again, there is always the need for them to understand that what we are doing is in the interest of our people.”
On other plans of the state government ahead of ember mouths, Fagbemi disclosed that: “I think we all know and understand that during the ember months, there are lots of activities and people would be hurry to get lots of things done and movement which do cause traffic gridlock and at the same time cause a fatal accident. What we did today was in preparation for the ember months, we are not going to do that only in Ibadan city, it will cut across all the local governments in Oyo State.”
“I am glad to announce to you that before we came in, OYRTMA as an agency had only three commands within the state. But today, we have spread around the state, we have got over thirty thousand different commands, very active commands. We are now at Saki, Iseyin, Eruwa, among others.”
“The key thing is for us to get ourselves prepared and ensure that our people begin to understand that we are entering into a season where everybody needs to be conscious of what is happening on the road. Safety of one is safe for all and we do know that we will enjoy the season with fewer accidents on the road by the grace of God,” Fagbemi assured.