“All unapproved motor parks in Ebonyi State are hereby closed forthwith”; the government today Tuesday, May 4, 2021, announced. “We’re doing that to monitor possible importation of arms, ammunition into Ebonyi State”, the State Commissioner for Capital City Development, Barr Onyekachi Nwebonyi, further said.
The Commissioner made the announcement in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, pointing out that the closure is with immediate effect.
“We’re doing this to check movement of arms and ammunition as well as criminal elements in or out of our state. Security reports have it that hoodlums and criminals use illegal motor parks and hide their arms in unserviceable vehicles parked along the streets.
“Henceforth, parking of vehicles along Afikpo Road, Ogoja Road, Waterworks Road, Nkaliki Road, and Enugu – Abakaliki – Ogoja Expressway are hereby banned”, he declared.
Nwebonyi spoke in a joint press briefing with the State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Chief Anthony Ewa.
His word, “The decision to shut down the illegal parks followed the rising insecurity in the country. The Ministry of Capital City Development, Ebonyi State, is hereby directing that all loading and offloading of vehicles within the state capital should only take place in approved public and private motor parks.
“This is in a bid to check movement of arms and ammunition, as well as criminal elements in and out of the state, as undercover security and precautionary measures are being put in place to avert further security breaches in the state.
The state commissioner maintained that all illegal and private motor parks not expressly approved by the Ministry of Capital City Development will be taken over by the government.
NURTW boss himself warned thus “any person found contravening the order will be treated as a security threat and will be prosecuted accordingly. Our members, motorists and travelers are advised to adhere strictly to the directive.
“Passengers boarding commercial vehicles or alighting from such vehicles at unauthorized places, that is, any place other than the approved public and private parks, will be arrested alongside the drivers, my people, NURWT members be careful”.
Continuing however, the commissioner further warned, “Please know that government is serious about it, therefore any vehicle parked along the aforementioned roads, whether serviceable or unserviceable will be confiscated by the Ministry of Capital City Development and the owners prosecuted accordingly”.
On heavy duty vehicles, Nwebonyi cautioned, “It is important to note that the parking of heavy duty vehicles along the street in the capital city is highly prohibited. No truck, lorry, or any form of articulated vehicle is expected to park along the streets for whatever reason.
“The vehicle found along the road or street will be confiscated and the owner or driver will be prosecuted. Government has designated parks for all forms of commercial and industrial vehicles in the state”.
“Tippers and heavy duty vehicles have their park at Ochudo Centenary City, opposite Margaret Umahi International Market, Abakaliki. There is also a mega park beside Akanu Ibiam Flyover (Spera In Deo), Abakaliki.
Go and park there”.
On plans to maintain adequate security in the state, Nwebonyi said, “Residents of the capital city are advised to always cooperate with the government by adhering to the directives of the Ministry of Capital City Development which are aimed at making life easier and more comfortable for them.
“These measures are taken in the best interest of the masses. Not only that indiscriminate parking of vehicles along the streets and roads can cause traffic accidents, hoodlums can hide weapons in such vehicles and use them to commit crime or cause security breaches at odd hours”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.