The Akwa Ibom State Government has inaugurated an enforcement team to ensure compliance on the ban of scavengers, open grazing and motorcycle use in the Uyo metropolis.
Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, had on January 4, announced the ban on scrap scavengers in the state following the death of three persons as a result of the clash between youths and the scavengers.
Speaking on Monday in Uyo, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Security Matters and Special Services, Capt. Iniubong Ekong (retd.), said the inauguration of the task force was to ensure that the directives of the government were obeyed to the latter.
Ekong who stated that the enforcement was for the safety and security of the people, said it became necessary to check internal insecurity in the state.
“We have seen an ugly development that Okada has started creeping in especially in Uyo metropolis, and part of Uyo capital city. This has not in any way helped the positivity of our security architecture.
“Again we have seen the menace of the scrap operators on the livelihood and peace of our people. Actually, the government has not in any way positioned itself to block people’s sources of livelihood, but, the freedom of one to conduct business must not impede on the right of existence of the other.
He continued, “Government will not keep quiet and allow a set of business ‘entrepreneurs’ who want to survive and grow their business at the expense of freedom and livelihood of any other person. Consequent upon this, the government has set up an enforcement team on the ban to move around to ensure total compliance,” he stated.
The SSA also mentioned that a mobile court would sit in Ibom Hall, Uyo, to try defaulters, adding that seized motorcycles would be crushed publicly as the government has already made an arrangement with a crushing company in Aba, Abia State, to perform the exercise every two weeks.
He charged security officers drawn from the Nigerian Police, the Military, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to be diligent and not to engage in physical combat with defaulters.
He informed them that they were not exempted from the ban, especially those officers who use motorcycles in the banned zones, stating that Governor Udom Emmanuel has approved allowance and welfare packages for them.