By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT-HARCOURT â€”Â OFFENDERS of traffic rules in Rivers State are to be sent to psychiatric hospital in the state for attention.
Governor Chibuike Amae-chi made this known when he set up Road Traffic Manage-ment Authority to manage the traffic situation in the state capital.
Inaugurating the 13-man traffic committee, Governor Amaechi said an executive lodge would be set up at the psychiatric centre for senior government officials who might break traffic rules so that they could be attended to under very convenient atmosphere.
He also warned govern-ment officials to steer clear of the operations of the committee.
The governor said his administration would not tolerate undue interference with their operations. He condemned the attitude of those who drive against traffic, saying such persons were not of sound mind, and should be compelled by law to visit the psychiatric hospital for check-up.
Amaechi said the action would help to assess if such government officials were fit to be in government, since those who are not of sound mind were not qualified by law to hold public offices.
The governor said that apart from tackling traffic problems, the Authority should liaise with the Ministry of Environment and the State Environmental Sanitation Authority to check indiscriminate dum-ping of refuse, proliferation of illegal markets and motor parks in the state capital and its environs.
Amaechi lamented that Port-Harcourt looked ugly now, not only because of traffic problems, but also basically due to what he described as unruly beha-viour of those who engaged in indiscriminate dumping of refuse and trading at unauthorised places.
He said the Authority, which would serve as a revenue generating agency of government, was expected to impose fines on offenders, and should be a self-financing agency.
He charged members to see their assignment as a serious one, and commence work immediately, so that those who traveled for Christmas and New Year holidays would return to see law and order.
Responding on behalf of the board, the Chairman, who is a former commissioner in the state, Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi, thanked the gover-nor for the opportunity given them to serve the state, and promised that they would work hard to achieve set goals.
The Rivers State Road Traffic Management Board has Chief Godwin Bebe Okpabi as Chairman, while members include: Mr. Soberekon Dikibo, Prince Weli Nwosu, and Eric Apia.
Others are representatives of some relevant bodies including, Chief Azubuike Nmerukini, Mr. Osas Osadebamwen, CSP Godwin Umorem, Mr. Senibo George, Chief Emeka Woke as well asÂ Cleverline T. Brown who is the Legal Adviser and Secretary of the Board and Mr. Nelson Oko-jaja who is the Controller-General of the authority.