Chairman of the Abia state Task Force on Environment and Allied Matters, Capt Awa Udonsi Agwu (rtd)says his Taskforce was set up to sanitize the state and not to victimize people.
In an interview with newsmen in Aba, Agwu condemned the attitude of some businessmen in the city who trade on top of drainages and block the roads with their wares.
He called on the people to shun rumour mongering stressing that it had become a stock in trade for people who does not mean well for the state.
“The Abia Taskforce on Environment and Allied Matters was set up to clean up Aba and other cities in the state. What my team is doing is to clean up the city, we are not here to punish people as rumour mongers are saying. It has become a tradition for some traders to block the road with their wares; obstructing the flow of traffic. Others display theirs on top of drainages. We have been able to stop street trading, but one major problem we have in Aba is that you stop the traders from displaying their wares on the roads and top of drainages, but immediately you turn your back, they are back to the same spot. It is a terrible situation which has continued to worry us because what we are doing is for their wellbeing,” he said.
On the allegation by some traders that the Taskforce has been destroying their goods, Agwu described it as untrue. “We have been very civil in the execution of our duties. What happens is that these traders who display their wares on the roads take to their heels immediately they sight our vehicles. We have always appealed to them to comply with our directives. There is no free flow of traffic. If we come, they will run away only to return later,” he stated.
247ureports.com gathered that the street traders in Aba are used to taking to their heels whenever they sight the Taskforce team. A fuel pump attendant at MRS Filling station opposite the General Post Office, on Asa road ,Aba, who gave her name as Joy hinted that the street traders are used to packing their wares on shouts of ‘Capt Awa’, ‘Capt Awa’, ‘Capt Awa’.
“Just shout ‘Capt Awa’ now, you will see that all the traders here will start packing their goodies to run away. Sometimes, we shout ‘Capt Awa’ and they will start running only to realize that they have been fooled. To them, the fear of the man is the beginning of wisdom,” she said.