Anambra And News Vendors: Need For Public Order

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By Christian ABURIME

It has been observed with concern the resort to needless uproar and untrue allegations by the news vendors within Awka Capital Territory regarding the enforcement of regulations related to street vending.

The truth is, while the state government understands the vital role the media plays in a healthy democracy and appreciates the contributions of news vendors, it cannot allow any act of violations of public order on the pretext of street vending.

The Awka Capital Territory, like any other capital city, has its Master Plan for proper development and it is the government’s primary responsibility to ensure public safety and order for all residents and visitors within the city.

Unfortunately, unregulated street vending, particularly on major roads, has become a public nuisance whereby vendors occupying roadways not only deface the environment but also impede the free flow of traffic, causing delays and frustration for commuters.

Therefore, the Awka Capital Territory Development Agency (ACTDA) has undertaken efforts to address the problem by restricting the activities of news vendors to designated areas. Yet, the news vendors kept disregarding the regulations and plying their trade on roadways, selling not only newspapers but also dealing in POS business, snacks and soft drinks.

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And when they were raided to keep their wares off the roads, they resorted to blackmail, insinuating the raids were targeting newspapers that are critical of Governor Charles Soludo and his policies.

This is not true. It is important to clarify that the ACTDA regulations are not targeted at suppressing media freedom or unfairly impacting vendors’ livelihoods. Rather, they aim to ensure public safety and the continuation of legitimate economic activity in the right manner.

In all, the Anambra State Government remains committed to open dialogue and constructive engagement with all stakeholders, including news vendors. This therefore makes it imperative for all to work together for a better Anambra State that will benefit all stakeholders!

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