Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that if the productivity of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks continues to decline, he will dissolve the Task Force.

Addressing members of the Task Force at the Government House Port Harcourt on Sunday Evening,  Governor Wike regretted that the operatives have compromised in some  locations, negatively  affecting their performance.

He said that the Task Force through reduced performance has allowed street traders to return to Mile One,  Air Force Junction,  Rumuokoro and Agip areas of the state capital.  He however praised the team operating in Garrison.

He said: "If the productivity of the Task Force continues to go down by tomorrow,  I will  dissolve the Task Force.  We will not tolerate a situation  where the progress we have made is reversed".

Governor Wike warned the Operatives of the Task  Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks against acts of extortion , saying that they must focus on their official responsibility.

He said: "All acts of extortion must stop forthwith.  Any operative found wanting in this regard will be sanctioned.  There is no reason why you should receive bribes from defaulters".

The Governor said that leaders of non-performing zones must rise up and work hard to ensure that the streets are free from illegal traders and motor Parks.

He warned members of the public against  physically assaulting operatives of the Task Force.  He noted that going forward,  the State Government will take measures to protect the operatives  from criminal elements.

"From now on, we will  change our strategy.  We are going to activate communication outlets for immediate response whenever criminal elements attack the operatives.  Security operatives will be on ground for rescue operations when the  need arises.

"We must show that we are ready to protect the  operatives at all times. We are determined  to  clean up our streets, stop illegal trading and improve all round security ", he said.

Governor Wike said that the Task Force started excellently,  noting that they should not allow themselves  to end badly.  He said that if this set fails, they would be shown the way out.

He wondered why operatives would be complaining  about their monthly allowances when they earn more than some civil servants. He  urged them to see their appointments as a privilege to serve the state and build their future.

The Governor said it was the same way that some members of the State Executive Council complained that they were not getting anything from the administration,  but  they are now lobbying extensively  to return to Government.

He informed that an additional 200 operatives will have their biometrics captured on Monday to strengthen the capacity of the Task Force.

Governor Wike said that his commitment to return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status will not be compromised on any account.  He reiterated that Rivers interest is his priority.

Simeon Nwakaudu,
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor,
Electronic Media.
20th October,  2019.

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