A drive round some major roads within Boji Boji Owa, which include; Abraka Road from the Old Lagos/ Asaba Road, Convent Street from Abraka Road, Ugbaja Street from Old Lagos/ Asaba Road, e.t.c all in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, show case a beauty of orderliness as against its formal order of with the smooth human and vehicular movement in all the above mentioned roads which hitherto was a herculean task to pass through because of the hold up and congestion occasioned by wrong and double parking of vehicles and motorcycles along the roads.
In order to have a better understanding of how the no parking order is affecting the businesses of shop owners along the streets affected by the development, Ika Weekly Newspaper Reporters, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, visited the areas to speak with some of the traders. Majority of the traders along Abraka Road, from Old Lagos/Asaba Road, Owa, who refused to speak with the press were of the view that as much as they appreciate the free flow of traffic along the road, the order to impound any motorcycle or vehicle parked along the road by the owners who are to buying things from their stores, is adversely affecting their business.
However, after much persuasion some of them obliged to air their opinions. In his contribution, Mr. Uche, a trader along Convent Street, Owa, said, “The introduction of a taskforce on double parking on the road is affecting our business negatively, the most annoying aspect is that some members of the taskforce are taking their activities to the extreme, I appreciate the fact that the roads are now clear for free movement, but it is causing bad market for us, because nobody will park and buy something. As soon as the customer parks his motorcycle, they will impound it, until one pays the sum of two thousand naira, the bike will not be released to the owner. This has made all our customers to now divert to Baleke Market, Agbor area to buy their goods, which is where business is now thriving it is quite unfortunate that some of us traders on this side of the divide are not selling again as before. Another thing is that since the assumption of office of the current Chairman of Ika North East, Hon. (Barr.) Victor Ebonka, it is only levies that we have been paying, for example, I pay Fifty Naira for waste disposal every day, I also pay fifty naira everyday for tax; it is so disheartening that every day, it’s so payment of levies. My advice to the Council Chairman is that we voted him into office to lead us as a good leader and not to come and oppress us; he should have allowed us to be parking on one side of the road and not to say, no parking on both sides of the road; even the parking space the council approved for parking is very far, close to the abattoir, and the individual is made to part with fifty naira, before he can take his motorcycle from the park; that is not how to lead the masses”.
Mr. E.O. Usoegbu, a businessman, said “infact the Council Chairman did a very good job for asking his officials to impound any vehicle or motorcycle that is parked along the road, but you know our people, when you ask them to do things, they will add so many things that will make it difficult for the Council and the masses. It is not ideal that if a customer comes to buy something from me at Abraka Road and the customer is a car owner, you ask him to go and park along Convent Street, which is down the road before he starts coming back to buy something from here, the customer will not be happy instead he will go and buy whatever he needs somewhere else. Now, we the traders find it difficult getting customers, with the present arrangement. We are finding it difficult to make sales.
“I am appealing to the Council Chairman to let his taskforce allow our customers to park their vehicles close to our stores and as soon as they finish their purchase be allowed to go, without their vehicles being impounded”.
Mr. Izuchukwu Nwabugo, a plastic seller along Convent Street, Owa, said, “actually the parking which Okada riders and vehicle owners used to park around here previously is very bad, it usually cause a lot of hold up from the motorist and other road users, but since the Council Chairman ordered that there should be no parking along the road, we have been enjoying free flow of human and vehicular movement”.
When asked by the reporter whether the “no parking” order issued to the Okada riders and vehicle owners by the Ika North East Local Government Council was affecting their business, he responded thus, “this is farming season when the school children are also on vacation, I believe that most persons are currently busy with their farm work, however, I believe that soonest patronage will improve; I don’t believe that the no parking order is what has slowed down patronage from customers”.
Mr. Ben Okoro, a trader, along convert street, opposite Hausa Street, Owa, said the order of “no parking’ given to Okada riders is very good because before now, trucks don’t usually park along this line to off load their goods because of congestion but now there is free flow of human and vehicular movement. The law is that any vehicle that wants to carry load is free to park and load, same goes for when a vehicle wants to discharge goods; there is no disturbance for such persons but the one that the law is against are vehicle owners that will park their vehicles along the road and forget that this is a road where every other persons uses, they will leave their vehicles to impede free movement on the road, from morning to night.
When asked if the development has affected his business. He emphatically responded that it has not affected his business, saying that if a customer wants to buy goods from his store, there is a chance for the person, but when they use their vehicles and motorcycles to obstruct the road, customers will not be able to access their stores to patronize them. So, we are happy about the development.
Anthony Ehikwe, a businessman, said, “The way they cleared the road is very good but what I am against is that may be when a customer will park close to your store to buy something, and men of the taskforce will come and disturb him or her. We appreciate the free flow of movement but let them not use the No Parking Order placed on motorcycle to disturb our customers, who may park close to our shop to buy something from us. Secondly, it affects our business negatively because so many people that used to come and park in front of our stores to buy something don’t come anymore, they go and buy what they need from other places; we know that the order is new for now, as time goes on, we believe that things will improve.