From Bola Ogunlayi, Ibadan
The Oyo State Government recently arraigned 21 people before the Environmental Tribunal Court sitting at the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and shut seven shops at Ojoo market for flouting the environmental sanitation laws in the state.
Every Thursday has been declared as the state’s Environmental day and backed up by a Law enacted by the State House of Assembly.
The 21 people charged for offences ranging from dumping of refuse on the road median, displaying of wares under high tension wire, engaging in street trading and obstructing the environmental enforcement team were consequently fined between N5,000 and N25,000.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Isaac Ishola, gave the shut order while monitoring the weekly environmental sanitation exercise within Ibadan metropolis.
Speaking through the Director, Environmental Health Services, Mr. Olusoji Oyewole, the Commissioner expressed displeasure about the poor sanitary level at the Ojoo market which he attributed to the negligence of some shop owners, noting that despite the concerted efforts of the present administration in ensuring a healthy and safe environment, some people are still recalcitrant to the clean environment policy.
Mr. Ishola therefore warned traders, shop owners, motorists and the general public to desist from violating the environmental sanitation laws such as dumping of refuse indiscriminately, construction of shanties on the drainages, water ways, displaying wares on road setback and under high tension wire, saying that the raining season is fast approaching and all hands must be on deck to ensure that there is no flooding in the state.
He enjoined all and sundry to embrace cleanliness, explaining that the issue of environment is a collective responsibility.
Despite the hard stand of the government in punishing offenders, commercial drivers and marketers in popular markets including Gate,Ogunpa,Ojoo and Oke Padre still display their wares during the exercise.