Ahiaudele Market Accident: FENRAD Calls for Environmental Action, Consoles Abians
Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, a pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group sympathizes with the government and good people of Abia State, especially Aba, the commercial Enyimba city over the fatal accident in which a container truck lost control and ram people off the road along Ogbor Hill Aba, near Ahiaudele (Abattoir) Market.
This, FENRAD says, is a tragedy for which at national level flags fly at half mast. 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 says. The Foundation calls on Ministry of Transport and that of commerce to create inter-ministerial synergy that enhances 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 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 been 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 truck 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.
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
Barr. Akande Femisi
Head Corporate Accountability and Human Rights Enforcement
Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD Nigeria
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