By John Agha
Enugu State Government has closed Orie Emene Market in a quick response to the Federal Aviation Ministry complaint that the flea market is safety challenge to Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Obuagua Anikwe announced governor’s order for the immediate removal of illegal structures including the market.
Briefing newsmen, the State Commissioner for Information said the sudden decision was made following safety concerns raised by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on potential air hazards in and around the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. He said the Enugu State Executive Council has endorsed the order for immediate closure of Orie Emene Market near the airport.
Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, disclosed that the council also closed the abattoir near the airport and equally ordered the immediate removal of all illegal structures encroaching on the airport land.
Mr. Anikwe added that “the Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area has been directed to effect the immediate closure of the market”.
He also explained that “the State Executive Council had on 12th October, 2018 approved funds for relocation of the State Broadcast Mast on the approach of the runway to Okpatu Hill (Ugwu Rerenkwu) in Udi Local Government Area, but the implementation of this project has been hampered by the disruptive activities of some youths in the community”.
The information commissioner of Enugu State Government directed immediate cessation of all hostilities against the project as any further interference will attract the full wrath of the law. Mr Anikwe told newsmen that the government has paid all the necessary compensation to the community.
“The State Commissioner advised Traditional Rulers of Okpatu communities and Town Union Leadership to ensure full compliance with the government directives.
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Aviation wants to demolish Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos for remodelling and expansion.
Ogene Ndigbo Newspaper correspondent, John Agha said, upgrading Enugu airport is a welcomed development by the people of the South East of Nigeria, but attempting to close it down without first fixing Owerri Airport to service Enugu traffic raises a red flag.