Rivers taskforce fires 21 officials for extortion
Less than two months after it was set up, the Rivers State Taskforce on street trading and illegal parks said it had so far sacked 21 officials over their alleged involvement in extorting traders and motorists.
Coordinator of the Taskforce, Felix Nwadibe who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen said the affected officials were caught in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas of the State.
Nwadibe said ten of the officials left their duty posts to other areas they considered to be lucrative and allowed traders to operate illegally after collecting money from them, while 11 others allegedly extorted motorists in Choba, near the University of Port Harcourt.
“They were posted to Oil Mill, but they left the place. We have been getting information that they do leave their beats on daily basis, which means there is something they are doing. Collecting of money from the traders there. They allow them, (traders) give them cover and collect money.
“So, when the information got to us, they were dismissed. Anyone who behaves the same way will go the same way,” he added.
Nwadibe explained that their sacking followed reports from members of the public, expressing sadness that they were perpetrating such an act despite repeated warnings before the taskforce commenced enforcement, saying he would not compromise its mandate of restoring sanity on the streets of Port Harcourt and its environs.
“I received phone calls from more than five people that a particular team at Choba were extorting money from motorists. So, as the information got to me, not from one person, not from two, not from three people, I dismissed all of them. This (sacking) will now serve as a deterrent to others,” he stated.
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