Vulcanisers in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, yesterday downed tools in protest against the directive by the state government for all street traders, vulcanisers, roadside mechanics, artisans, and street vendors to leave the road.
The governor, Nyesom Wike, had last week given one week to all roadside users to vacate, warning that any person who flouted the directive at the expiration of the one-week ultimatum, would be arrested and prosecuted.
The vulcanisers had pleaded with the state government to exclude them, as their activities does not bring nuisance to the roads.Their plea, however, fell on deaf ears as the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakuadu, maintained that the one week “Operation leave the road” in Port Harcourt, still remains.
Worried by the development, chairman of vulcanisers association in the state, Mr. Matthew Akpan, ordered its members to down tools and vacate the roads in protest against the directive, which he alleged should not have affected them because they do not disturb other road users.
Akpan warned that any member seen on the road would be seriously dealt with according to the association’s law. The situation has, however, thrown motorists with flat tyres into a sorry state, as checks around the Port Harcourt metropolis shows there were no vulcanisers available to attend to them.Some motorists, who had flat tyres, abandoned their vehicles along the road, while some drove with the damaged tyre to their offices and homes.