Leave Abuja now or .. Bala tells prostitutes, beggars, hawkers, etc

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By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed yesterday ordered all the prostitutes, beggars, street hawkers, commercial sex workers and other miscreants to as a matter of urgency leave the nation’s capital city or face immediate arrest, detention and prosecution.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja while inaugurating a high-powered 19-member Special Enforcement Task Team on City Cleaning and Management headed by FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, Senator Mohammed who declared that he had secured the support of the judiciary for the campaign to keep Abuja clean and free of social menace, warned that henceforth there would be no hiding place for offenders.

According to him, several mobile courts would be in place to prosecute arrested offenders without delay stressing that he was ready with the necessary political will to wage the social battle on a permanent and sustainable basis, adding that the administration has flagged  off a massive campaign to rid the nation’s capital of destitution and environmental nuisance that have been posing a serious threat to the Territory’s Masterplan.

The minister charged the  standing Task Team to do its utmost to rid the Federal Capital Metropolis and the satellite towns of the menace of street hawking, destitution, commercial motorcyclists, tricycle operators, illegal car marts, commercial sex workers and others.

Senator Mohammed outlined the Task Team’s terms of reference which include identifying all flash points for street hawking/begging, commercial sex workers and other untoward activities in Abuja metropolis for effective pin-down operations; evolving viable options/strategies for effective waste management in the city centre, particularly by enforcing the provisions of the AEPB Act; restricting the operations of tricycles (Keke NAPEP) operators, commercial motorcycles (okada) and other unauthorized commercial vehicles from operating within the Abuja City Centre as well as arresting, detaining and prosecuting road traffic offenders.

Others terms of reference were to remove all shanties and illegal/unplanned developments in the Abuja City Centre; removal of illegal car marts from unauthorized locations in the FCT; carry  out sting operations in hideouts occupied by suspected criminal elements with a view to forestalling nefarious activities in the Territory; put in place necessary strategies to reduce gridlocks and ease traffic flow in the metropolis and mounting massive enlightenment campaign in the print and electronic media on the need for residents to comply with City Management Laws.

Aside Mr. Mbu, the Chairman of the Team, the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Arc. Reuben Okoya holds forte as its Deputy Chairman. Its members include the Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Aminu Kofarsoro; the Director of State Security Services (SSS) in FCT, Mr. John Okojie; the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge; the Director FCT Road Traffic Services, Alhaji Aminu Iro; representative of Nigeria Immigration Services, Mallam Auta Ibrahim; the Director of FCT Development Control Department, Mallam Yahaya Yusuf and the Special Adviser on Security to the FCT Minister, Col. Abdullahi Kudu (rtd).

Other members are  the representative of Engineering Services, FCDA, Engr. Ben Ukpong; the representative of Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA), Mr. Olusegun Olusa; the representative of Monitoring & Inspection Department, Mr. Edwin Ugwuanyi; Deputy Director, Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Asmau Abbe Wala; Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Legal Services Secretariat, Dr. James Agbonhese; Deputy Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mr. Uche Agbanusi and the Abuja Urban Transit Company’s (AUMTCO’s) General Manager in charge of Operations, Mr. S. Ajon. The Deputy Director, Administration in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. U. S. Atang, will serve as Secretary of the Task Team.

The Minister mandated the Task Team to co-opt other officers it might consider useful to the realization of its goals and objectives.

Responding, the Chairman of the Task Team, Mr. Mbu who noted that he shares the same dream with the FCT Minister and the President about how the FCT should look like, however pledged the readiness of his team to work very hard to accomplish the dreams of the FCT Minister and the President.

Mbu vowed, “We don’t have so much time to waste because so many things have gone astray. As far as possible we are going to start off, even if going for a symbolic operation tomorrow (Friday), we will have to do so. We have the tools to carry out this assignment with the human face and heart…We are going to enforce all the laws, so much so that even if a motorist sees even a finger of a policeman, he will stop.”

The FCT Police Commissioner  said he had successfully performed similar tasks in the past in Minna during a period of fuel scarcity in 2001 and later during the era of Ogbonna Onovo as the Inspector-General of Police, just as he declined to reveal his strategy for carrying out the current task successfully maintaining that as a man of action, he believes that “action speaks louder than voice.”

Also yesterday, the FCTA minister and the FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu  decorated the ADC to the FCT Minister, Mr. Hassan Idris with a new rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

At the occasion, the FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide and Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, a Deputy Police Commissioner also decorated the FCT Minister’s Escort Commander, Mr. Umar Sani with a new rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister officially congratulated the two promoted Police Officers, Mr. Idris and Sani respectively for their well-deserved promotions, which he said, should spur them to greater heights, adding that every promotion-achieved comes with more responsibilities and therefore call on them to be prepared greater task ahead.

According to him, “these further calls for greater commitment, dedication and patriotism to the nation.”

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