Newly introduced anti-street/illegal trading and parking law by the Rivers State government which took effect recently, has been received with mixed feelings. While some are hailing the ease of traffic and sanity the legislation has heralded, others are decrying the economic effect of the law seen as a good project being executed at a wrong time.
With task Force team effectively positioned all over the state capital and its environ, commuting has become difficult for many as commercial transport operators in a bid to avoid falling victims , have stopped picking or dropping passengers from and at many spots.
“Moving about in Port Harcourt is no longer an easy thing. I have been trekking long distances to join vehicles since this new Wike law. The drivers are even afraid to drop you at the bus stops”, a young girl who commutes between Garrison and Rumuola told National Point.
Wike is making things difficult for us”, a female petty trader lamented. “Life is hard. My husband lost his job and I was coming out to sell on Rumuola Road, but now that has been blocked. The Task Force even stays till 8pm, who will come out to buy anything after 8pm? Only God knows how my family will survive and school is opening”, she added.
Supporters of the new law say the state capital is already looking orderly and traffic is moving fine.
A driver with a non-governmental organization supports Wike.
This is just good. See how easily we are moving? Before, everywhere was congested but now the roads are free and neat. People say it will affect business, I know that some of those who used to hang on the road have shops inside the market. Let them go back to the shops let the customers enter the market. Only those who do not have shops will suffer but they will manage.
“Remember when Omehia banned Okada? People said we will suffer but we survived it. Let us approach this the same way”.
However, there are serious concerns that the enforcement might force some displaced persons to resort to evil.
“Am more worried about the social consequences of this law. Things are already very bad; no money in the system, no jobs and crime rate is high. If you push more people out of their livelihood, the greater society may pay the prize”, a father, Mr Joe Egbule said.