The Anambra State government has launched an offensive against all forms of touting in the state and warned those involved to withdraw or be ready to confront the law.
Chukwuma Soludo, the state governor, gave the warning while launching the Anambra Special Anti-Touting Squad, on Monday at Upper Iweka, Onitsha. He said an environment where lawlessness has become a culture, bringing back law and order could be difficult.
The governor congratulated members of the squad who have been found worthy to serve, urging them to be committed, passionate, and diligent in the discharge of their duties. He advised them to adhere to laid down standards and the code of conduct guiding their operation.
Soludo said that the members of the anti-touting squad shall collaborate with the Nigerian Armed Forces who have the primary responsibility to keep the state safe.
He added that the launch of the squad was acceleration on the key promise he made to the people living in the Greater Onitsha area which comprise Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru, Oyi, and Idemili to restore the state to its full glory as the “Light of the Nation”.
“When we assumed office, eight local governments were taken over. Thanks to the combined efforts of our security agencies and the vigilante service, with their support, those local government areas have been liberated and normalcy restored.
“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 nations.
“While dealing with hoodlums on a larger scale, we will be dealing with touts in the 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 where anyone does what he or she likes arbitrarily without recourse to law and order,” the governor noted.
He said; “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,” he added.
Chikodiri Anara, the commissioner for homeland affairs, in his remarks, said operatives of the squad had been well trained for the job. Anara warned hoodlums causing trouble in the state to leave or face the wrath of the law.