By Ifeoma Aka
Enugu, May 21, 2020
The Enugu State House of Assembly has urged the state government to immediately demolish and evacuate the New Artisan Cattle market over alleged criminal activities in the market.
It also called on the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ahmad Abdul-Rahiman, to ensure that perpetrators of crimes in the market were arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others.
This call follows the adoption of a motion on the need to demolish and evacuate the market located at Independence Layout which was just about 3Km from the Government House.
It was sponsored by the member representing Aninri Constituency, Mr Chinedu Okwu, during plenary in Enugu on Thursday.
Speaking on the motion, Okwu said that the New Artisan market had become a hideout for drug dealers, cultists, prostitutes and hooligans in the state.
According to him, the market has turned into Sodom and Gomorrah, where devilish activities are carried out, especially at night.
“You could recall that the cattle market was closed down two years ago due to the brutal murder of a police officer, who was an indigene of the state.
“In addendum to that, we could also recall that several atrocities have been recorded in that area, which caused fears and disrespect to the entire state,” he recounted.
The lawmaker pointed out that the Enugu State government would not fold its arms and allow miscreants toy with peace and security of the state.
He warned that if nothing was done urgently, the market would breed hooligans, who would terrorise the state in few months to come.
“We must be committed to the safety of our people and state at large.
“We must not allow evil to take charge of our environs. We must be ready to defend our citizens through legislative means of ensuring a crime-free zone,” Okwu added.
Also contributing, the member representing Nkanu West constituency, Mr Iloabuchi Aniagu, said demolishing the market would help to boost security, especially around Independence Layout.
Aniagu asked the state government to withstand any pressure that would oppose the demolition, stressing that the Assembly would not back down on the motion until the state government did the needful.
Another member representing Awgu South constituency, Mr Johnson Chukwuobasi, however, expressed fear that allowing the market to operate might worsen the COVID-19 cases in the state.
In his contribution, the Speaker of the Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, commended Okwu for moving the motion, aimed at curtailing insecurity in the area.
Ubosi noted that security of lives and property of residents of the state had worsened by the illegal activities going on in the market and asked the state government to carry out the demolition without hesitation.
In another development, the Assembly had stepped down a motion on the need to re-establish Enugu State College of Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, sponsored by Mr Emma Ugwuerua, representing Nsukka West Constituency.