Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has moved to end all forms of touts and touting activities in Anambra State with the launch of a special anti-touting squad in the state.
Soludo’s decision to launch the outfit may have been informed by the recent occurrences, where different tout groups create atmosphere of lawlessness in the name of collecting revenue for the government of the state.
Launching the State Special Anti-Touting Squad at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, the Governor reiterated that “the days of touts in the state are numbered,” noting that a full blown war has been declared on them.
He revealed that members of the anti-touting squad shall collaborate with the Nigerian Armed Forces who he said have the primary responsibility to keep the state safe.
He pointed out that the launch of the squad was an acceleration on the key promise he made to the people living in the greater Onitsha area which consists of Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru, Oyi, and Idemili, to restore Anambra State known for law and order back to its full glory as “the Light of the nation.”
He said: “When we assumed office, 8 local governments were taken over. Thanks to the combined efforts of our security agencies and the vigilante service those local government areas have been liberated and normalcy restored. The Governor charged the citizens to always remember the campaign of “if you see something, you say something.”
“We have told the youths to come out from their hideouts and the bush. We shall help to rehabilitate and integrate them into society to be useful to their families, communities, states, and nation.
“While dealing with hoodlums on a larger scale, we will be dealing with touts in Onitsha greater area and Anambra State as a whole.
“We are fighting a war to bring back the soul of our society governed by law and order not a society anyone does what he or she likes arbitrarily without recourse to law and order
“Touts disturb customers who come from every nook and cranny of the country. But this journey is to rescue Onitsha as a commercial hub and Anambra State in general.”
Soludo congratulated members of the squad who have been found worthy and offered to serve, urging them to serve with commitment, passion, and diligence. He also advised them to adhere to laid down standards and the code of conduct guiding their operation
The Governor went further to disclose that phone numbers shall be made available to the people of the state to inform the government of any touting activities they notice in the area.
He warned all market chairmen and reiterated that any market where touts are still operating shall be disbanded and the Chairmen shall be removed from office. He maintained that each Market Chairman must take responsibility!