Akwa Ibom state government has banned the activities of scrap scavengers in the state, saying their activities were of no economic benefit to the state
This was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, and made available to journalists in Uyo, the state capital yesterday.
According to him, rather than working with the government to sustain the peaceful atmosphere the state has been exposed to in the past six years, they are in the habit of escalating tensions and threatening the overall peace and security of the State.
However, the tease reaction of the government may not be unconnected with the alleged killing of a youth on Sunday by a scrap scavenger in Afaha Oku community in the Uyo local government of the state.
This act it was learned resulted in irate youths from the community setting ablaze two persons which resulted in their death and have thrown the community into fears of reprisal attack.
The statement reads, “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 the 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. Sundays appear to be the busiest day for these 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”.
Similarly, the state government has reinforced the ban on motorcycles in the state metropolis, saying the government was disappointed to notice that, despite the ban of motorcycles within the city and its environs, operators of bikes are still disobeying government directives.
“Government has observed with dismay and serious concern the flagrant defiance of the ban on Motor Cycle operations within Uyo metropolis and environs. This banning order is hereby reiterated with a warning that defaulters stand to lose not only their Motorcycles if apprehended, but also risk being prosecuted and possibly sentenced”, the statement said