By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Borno State Ministry of Environment, headed by Kaka Shehu Lawal, has embarked on demolition of illegal structures and all makeshift/container shops along major streets in Maiduguri metropolis, Jere and Konduga Local Government areas.
The clampdown, which is the latest in series is to ensure sanity and curb the increasing consumption of Indian hemps/cannabis and other narcotic drugs among youths in the state.
Lawal, who doubles as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, led the Environmental Task Force/Team comprising Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, BOSEPA, Civilian JTF, among others.
They cleared all makeshift shops at the Legacy Garden Housing Estates Gate situated at the heart of Bulumkutu ward of the metropolis, which harbours quite a number of Indian hemp dealers/consumers.
The team while storming Legacy Garden were at Old Maiduguri, Ajiri, Government House Roundabout and host of other black spot areas identified for similar demolition, which coincided with the monthly sanitation exercise.
Speaking to Vanguard at the site marked for demolition, Legacy Garden Main Gate, the Commissioner said: “Government is fade up with increasing cases associated with consumption of Indian hemps and other narcotic substances which are mainly sold by makeshift shop owners along the streets.”
He disclosed that the demolition was sequel to several warnings and ‘Removal Orders’ by the government which felt on many deaf ears.
Hence, the need to take decisive measures, stressing that, anyone with genuine land documents from Government are to be exempted upon tendering it to the task force for scrutiny.
“You can see that in the cause of ongoing demolitions, illicit substances such as cannabis, and other dangerous drugs such as codeine, tramadol, charms and weapons such as machetes, knives, bow and arrows, were recovered during the exercise.
“Most of these shanties and illegal structures are occupied by miscreants and hoodlums who terrorised innocent citizens around, snatching of cellphones and dispossesing people of their belongings even in a broad daylight and late at night.
“It was an eyesore with these miscreants and their collaborators freely smoking and selling illegal drugs and other substances including prostitution by underage boys and girls in the state.
“And the present administration under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum would not fold its arms to allow it continue,” Lawal stated.
He urged members of the public to support government in restoring the state from clutches of those engaged in this practice by reporting any noticeable criminal activities and illegal operations of makeshift shops along major streets to security agencies for proper action.
Our correspondent observed that hundreds of illegal structures and makeshift shops were pull down by the Task Force during the four hours clampdown.