AKWA Ibom State government has banned the activities of scrap scavengers in the state with immediate effect.
The Secretary to State Government,(SSG) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosed this in a statement entitled, “Ban on scrap scavengers in Akwa Ibom State and enforcement of existing ban on the use of motorcycles within Uyo metropolis” made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo.
Ekuwem, who noted that the development followed several incidents of grave infractions including acts of criminality and threat to peaceful inter-ethnic relationship in the state by operators of the enterprise, warned that violators of the ban would be arrested and dealth with according to the Law.
His words, ” The Government of Akwa Ibom State has, with immediate effect, banned the activities of scrap scavengers in the State.
“This follows several incidents of grave infractions including acts of criminality and threat to peaceful inter-ethnic relationship in the state by operators of this enterprise.
” The action of Government is also in consonance with public sentiments amidst popular complaints against the activities of these scavengers who wantonly violate peoples properties, stealing and assaulting law abiding citizens in the process.
“Recall that sometime in 2021, multiple explosions, causing fatalities, were recorded in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in the course of scavengers sorting out what turned out to be military brand explosives. About four lives were lost in this incident.
“Similarly, on 2nd Jan, 2022 scavengers violated the premises of a citizen in Afaha Oku, Uyo Local Government Area in an attempt to cart away properties. While attempting to prevent the scavengers, the citizen was callously murdered in cold blood while mob action was visited on the scavenger assailants causing the death of the two scavengers”
The SSG pointed out that Sundays appear to be the busiest day for the scavengers who take advantage of mass Church attendance to invade homes and cart away valuables, leaving hapless citizens with tales of woe upon their return from Church.
“As a responsible Government, we can no longer tolerate the activities of this industry which evidently is in no way adding value to the socio economic well being of the state but rather escalating tensions and threatening the overall peace and security of the State.
“Accordingly, the operations of scrap scavengers in the State is banned forthwith. Violators of this ban will be apprehended and dealt with according to the law.
Continuing Ekuwem expressed dismay and
serious concern over the flagrant defiance of the ban on MotorCycle operations within Uyo metropolis and environs.
“This ban order is hereby reiterated with a warning that defaulters stand to lose not only their Motor Cycles, if apprehended, but also risk being prosecuted and possibly sentenced.
Security Agencies and the general public are therefore put on notice.
“An enforcement structure has been put in place to effect these directives to the letter.
The General public should be rest-assured that the Government of Akwa Ibom State will leave no stones unturned in ensuring the safety of lives and properties as well as the peace and security of the state”, Ekuwem stated.