Mixed reactions have trailed the ban on operations of commercial vehicles at Wuse Market and other adjoining roads to the market. Residents lamented what they described as 'endurance trek' they are subjected to as they resumed for work yesterday.
Recall that the FCT administration, through the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on Saturday commenced sanitation of Wuse market and environs which had become a hot spot for hawking. The administration banned the movement of commercial vehicles around the place as a strategy to curb the activities of hawkers.
Some of the residents said the administration has taken them by surprise as there were no announcements to the effect that public transportation would not be allowed in the area.
Manager, T&B Creative Ventures, Mr. Arome Danjuma, said the development would have been welcome if residents of the FCT were informed of the decision so that they will know what to expect when they get to those areas, adding that the way it was, people were ill prepared and were suffering unjustly.
"The truth is that, if you do not have a car in Abuja, you are on the suffering side, because you will be forced to trek, even when you do not want to. Imagine you wake up in the morning, in a hurry to get to the office, you get to Wuse or any other part of the city that vehicles with Abuja colour are banned from operating and you will be faced with a long distance to trek before you get another vehicle to take you to your destination. It is not funny at all, it is real punishment on the poor people," he said.
Another resident, Uchenna Andrew, said he had to trek from Berger Junction to Febson Mall before he got another vehicle to where he was going, lamenting that the plight of the common man is not considered when decisions are taken in the FCT.
"The way the environment is now, it is very beautiful. I know the misbehaviour of most of the commercial bus drivers made the FCT authority to take this decision but the passengers are the ones suffering it now. I pray that alternative measures provided, so that this suffering we are going through will end," he added.
A private vehicle owner, Madam Agnes Oche, commended the action of the FCT saying peace will now reign for motorists who drive through Wuse market without the fear of getting trapped in unnecessary traffic jam caused by commercial buses and taxi drivers.
She however charged the administration on the need to be firm and sustain the policy.
Reacting to the development, the Chief Enforcement Officer, AEPB, Mr. Sanni Amar, said the ban on the operation of commercial vehicles in Wuse was due to the abuse of parking facilities by the operators.
"The ban is as a result of the continuous abuse of parking facility by the Unions in the market; the Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association (SECDA), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). They have simply refused to make use of the parks assigned to them and have rather decided to carry passengers on the road causing obstructions.
"They come out to congest the road where there is no space, they load passengers on the walkways and the green verge, causing constant traffic around this area that is why we decided to get a detour point so that they can just drop passengers and move on. Creating a detour is important in this situation because the presence of law enforcement officers at these spots will not allow them to load there," he said.