Hours after the Federal Government raised safety concerns over the deplorable state of Enugu Airport, the Enugu State Government has announced the immediate closure of Orie Emene Market (abattoir inclusive) to forestall tragic air accident at the Airport.
Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika had raised the concerns at a stakeholders forum in Lagos on Saturday evening and vowed to shut down the airport if the state government did not act.
Sirika said, “As you approach Enugu, there is a market which has an abattoir which attracts birds. At the end of the runway, you have free trade zone. The state government kept promising they would remove all these challenges. Enugu maybe closed down soon.
“I can’t take the risk. That market must move two to three kilometers away. It will not harm the people. Ethiopian Airlines will stop going there. Also, the local airlines will stop. We have told the state government, ‘remove the trade zone, remove the market, the state radio mast that is directly on approach’”.
But the state government, in a public service announcement seen by our correspondent, ordered the immediate relocation of the market.
The announcement was signed by the Commissioner for Information, Ogbuagu Anikwe with the state government instructing the Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area to effect the immediate closure of the market.
“Council also ordered immediate removal of all illegal structures encroaching on the land of the Airport”, the announcement added.
The government indicated that the State Executive Council had on 12th October, 2018 approved funds for relocation of the State Broadcast Mast on the approach of the Run Way 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”.
“Enugu State Government hereby directs immediate cessation of all hostilities against the project as any further interference will attract the full wrath of the Law given that Government has paid all the necessary compensation.
“The Traditional Rulers of Okaptu Communities and Town Union Leadership are hereby called upon to ensure full compliance with the above directives”.