The Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has launched the Anambra Special Anti-Touting Squad in his efforts to get rid of touts in the state.
During the launch in Upper-Iweka, Onitsha, on Monday, the governor warned that the days of touts in the state are numbered as a full-blown war has been declared against them.
Soludo pointed out that in an environment where lawlessness has become a culture, bringing back law and order will be difficult, hence the reason for the exercise.
He congratulated members of the squad who have been found worthy and offered to serve, urging them to serve with commitment, passion, and diligence.
He also advised them to adhere to laid-down standards and the code of conduct guiding their operations.
He said, “Members of the anti-touting squad shall collaborate with the Nigerian Armed Forces, who have the primary responsibility to keep the state safe.
“The launch of the squad is an acceleration on the key promise we made to the people living in the greater Onitsha area, which consists of Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru, Oyi, and Idemili, to restore Anambra State, known for law and order, back to its full glory as the ‘Light of the Nation’.
“When we assumed office, eight local government areas were taken over. Thanks to the combined efforts of our security agencies and the vigilante service with their support, those local government areas have been liberated and normalcy restored.”
Soludo, however, urged the citizens to always remember the campaign of ‘if you see something, you say something’ and to put it into practise.
According to him, phone numbers shall be made available to citizens to inform the government of any touting activities they noticed in the area.
While warning all market chairmen, he pointed out that any market where touts are still operating shall be disbanded and the chairmen shall be removed from office, adding that each market chairman must take responsibility.
“We have told the youths to come out from their hideouts from the bush. We shall help to rehabilitate and integrate them into society to be useful to their families, communities, states, and nations.
“While dealing with hoodlums on a larger scale, we will be dealing with touts in Onitsha greater area and Anambra State as a whole.
“We are fighting a war to bring back the soul of our society governed by law and order, not a society where anyone does what he or she likes arbitrarily without recourse to law and order.
“Touts disturb customers who come from every nook and cranny of the country. But this journey is to rescue Onitsha as a commercial hub and Anambra State in general,” he added.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chief Chikodiri Anara, in his opening remarks, said the launch of the Special Anti-Touting Squad is the start of the journey.
Anara assured the governor that the men of the squad were well-trained and that by December, positive changes would be noticed.
He gave a note of warning to hoodlums causing trouble in the state to leave the state, as they won’t find it comfortable to operate from now on.
The Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, Commissioner for Youth Development, Patrick Aghamba, Special Adviser on Security Matters, AVM Chiobi, Chief of Protocol, Chinedu Nwoye Glamour, President General, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, Chief Humphrey Anuna, and members of the armed forces, amongst others, were at the event.
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