Beginning from today, traders in Rivers State who engage in trading by road sides are in trouble as Governor Nyesom Wike has set Mobile Courts against the traders.
The Mobile Courts are working with the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks, which begins work today.
Addressing operatives of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks at the Government House Port Harcourt on Sunday, Wike said that the magistrates would be deployed to the various locations on Monday.
He said: “From tomorrow, magistrates will sit at the various locations to prosecute offenders of the law banning street trading.
“Your business is to arrest the offenders in line with the law and take them to the magistrates for trial. Anyone that is guilty will be sanctioned by the magistrates.”
He warned the operatives of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks against taking laws into their hands. He stated that the State Government would not tolerate them manhandling any offender.
Wike said that the ultimate goal of the exercise was to ensure that there were no street traders in Port Harcourt and that illegal motor Parks were closed.
“We don’t want to see any street traders anywhere in Port Harcourt. Your duty is to ensure that the streets are clean.
“Those selling corn and other items on the roads should also leave. If you want to be a trader, kindly move into the markets,” he said.
He noted that a committee has been established to monitor the activities of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks. He said where there were infractions, the operatives would be sanctioned.
The Governor warned the operatives against harassing people for money. He said any operative indicted for seeking bribe would be sacked.
He regretted that some operatives did not go to their duty posts. He said that modalities had been put in place to fish out such truant operatives.
The Governor charged the operatives to shun acts that would attract negative publicity to the Task Force.
He said all eyes were on them, hence they must remain focused on their legal responsibilities.
He said that he called the emergency meeting basically to appreciate the operatives for their excellent performance, charging them to perform better.
Governor Wike assured that additional 450 personnel would be employed, while more vehicles would be handed over to the Task Force.
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