By George Onah
PORT Harcourtâ€”Rivers State Government has condemned the attack on a policeman,Â who was severely beatenÂ up and the shooting of a sanitation official by alleged street traders in Port Harcourt.
Acting Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Mr. Blessing Wikina, saidÂ the attack on government officials on duty by street traders, â€œhas confirmed that hoodlums now disguise as hawkers to perpetrate mayhem along the streets of the state capital.â€
Wikina, in a statement said the action of the so-called â€œstreet traders along the Port Harcourt-Aba Express way in the early hours of yesterday, in beating a policeman to a state of coma and shooting a sanitation official,Â shows undoubtedly that criminals are now masquerading as street traders.â€
He re-affirmed that street trading remains outlawed in the state and anyone who engages in any form of street trading, will be arrested and prosecuted under relevant laws.
â€œWe wish to remind residents of Port Harcourt and those who patronize street traders that they are also liable, as they encourage the violation of the law through their patronage of these suspected criminals disguised as traders,â€ he said.
Wikina appealed to parents and guardians,Â who are still in the habit of sending out their wards and children to trade on the streets to desist forthwith, as any one arrested for the act would be prosecuted.
All persons arrested in connection with the act of street trading yesterday morning, following the attack will be charged to court to send a signal that the government is poised to eradicate street trading, he said.