Oil Mill Market: Traders, Motorists Differ On Choatic Traffic

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The once popular oil mill market on the outskirts of Port Harcourt  has over the years turned out to be every drivers’ nightmare, especially on Wednesdays.
Road users, especially motorists dread driving through the Port Harcourt-Aba Express Road, but it has become inevitable because for one to travel to Aba and vice versa, one has to pass through that axis.
Under the circumstance, our correspondent sought the opinion of the public on how to tackle the menace posed by the traders.
“As for me, they should stop the traders from displaying their articles near the road” was the submission of Mr Linus Ebele, a commercial bus driver who plies the Port Harcourt-Aba route on daily basis.
He opined that there is enough space in the market and wondered the traders choose to come all the way out to the busy highway
According to him, if he had his way, the trader should either be inside the market or be reloated away from the traffic area.
A  public servant, and resident of Afam in the Oyigbo local government area of the State, Mr Sunny Onyebuchi who spoke to The Tide said he was always apprehensive on every Wednesday due to the hectic traffic situation at the market.
Onyebuchi who works at the State Secretariat said for him not to be late for work on Wednesdays, he wakes up “as early as 4am and before 5:30 am I am off.”
He said even at that, there were some Wednesdays that he still meets with heavy traffic.
Also speaking to our correspondent, one of the traders who sells sandals and slippers among other items said it was inevitable.
He said what was going on at oil mill market was not peculiar to Port Harcourt alone even as he said the city was witnessing an increased influx of traders and other business people.
While comparing the scenario at oil mill market with that at Oshodi in Lagos and Aba in Abia State, he said in some markets in Nigeria such markets operate on daily basis.
“There is no need from people to complain because the market operates once in a week, unlike those at other cities in the country,” he said.
He said the lustling and bustling at the oil will market on Wednesdays was part of economic development and urged motorists, traders and every road user to exercise patience on market days.
However, one trader who spoke to our correspondent opined that it was not only traders who benefit on every market day.
He said most drivers make good returns on market days due to increase in passenger availability, even as he said road traffic wardens also have a field day.
According to him, the market has come to stay because a lot of people, including the traders, make quick sales as goods are sold at subsidized rates to customers.
A traffic warden who spoke on the issue and asked not to be named told our correspondent that they always have a hectic time on market days as they have to contend with a lot of challenges.
He said touts come to the market all the way from Aba to join their Port Harcourt Counter-parts thereby increasing criminality on market days.
According to him, combining traffic control with checkmating criminal activities has been a major challenge for them, adding that there was need for increased security personnel on market days.