Against the backdrop of increased vehicular traffic to the Victor Attah International Airport, the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources in Akwa Ibom State, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson, has cautioned roadside traders operating along the said route to desist forthwith from such illegal activities in their own interest.

Sampson stated this while addressing roadside traders at Timber Market/Ifa Ikot Okpon Junction, Mbiabong in Uyo LGA Thursday, January 30, 2020 during the tour of spots prone to roadside trading activities along the airport route.

Speaking to a throng of wayside merchants in the area in Ibibio and English, he dropped the hint that the state government will soon enforce its directive of prohibiting illegal trading along Airport Road and other similar locations in the state.

While stressing the need for the traders to make use of the nearby space provided them, he noted that he came to forewarn the traders because the current state administration of Gov. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has a human face, Barr. Sampson maintained that “Much as you all have the need to eke out a living, the state government is duty-bound to protect you from the high risks as a result of illegally trading along a very busy highway such as the Airport Road, even with the high tension electric cable hanging overhead.

“Also, because the illegal trading activities along this route obstruct traffic and deface the aesthetics of the environment, in this wise illegal trading will no longer be tolerated.”

The Hon. Commissioner, who had earlier paid an unscheduled courtesy visit to the Village Head of Mbiabong, His Highness, Eteidung (Dr.) Cosmas E. Sampson in his palace, to seek his support on the issue as regards awareness and sensitization campaigns, urged all other royal fathers to cooperate with the state government in order to bring sanity to the affected areas in their domains.

In his terse response, the village head recalled earlier attempts to cause the traders to relocate to a safer and permanent location, but to no avail.

He thus expressed gratitude to the Hon. Commissioner for the honour done to him by seeking his collaboration in the matter.

He therefore pledged that he would immediately undertake the sensitization process by engaging the town criers in all the communities that make up his domain.

The state Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Pharm. Mbuk Inyang, and state sanitary officials of the ministry.

By Paulinus Nnah

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