Soludo reads riot acts to Touts, Touting Syndicates and Market leaders

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…as he inaugurates anti-touting squad

By Uzo Ugwunze

Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has warned those who take touting as a profession or feed from its proceeds to steer clear of Onitsha commercial city and the entire state or face the full wrath of the law.

Prof. Soludo gave the stern warning at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, while inaugurating an anti-touting squad which is part of the Ana bra Homeland security saying that the days of touts and their sponsors in the state are numbered.

According to the Governor, “whereas we don’t want them here in the state, they have already formed syndicates to perpetrate their crimes in the name of revenue collection in the state. They constituted themselves into a violent gang terrorising the people and chasing away customers who came to the state to patronize the traders”

“Already, the anti-touting bill is at floor of the State House of Assembly and be soon will be signed into law which attracts possible jail terms for both the touts and their syndicates.

Describing Anambra’s core values as hard work and enterprise, Soludo warned touts to leave the state alone and relocate to others states if they must continue with their nefarious activities or be prepared to be shown the way out.

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Governor said the State must be restored to its lost glory adding that the squad would work with other security operatives that include, the military, police, vigilante, among others.

“Today, we want to restore the state from these criminals. About eight local Government Areas were taken over by the touts when we assumed office but we have liberated them from the touts.

“I have advised the youths to come out from bushes, only animals live in the bushes. They should embrace the 1 youth 2 skills program which the first batch will be empowered as they pass out on Friday.

“It is unfortunate that touts and criminals will not allow people to do shopping in Onitsha. We have come to rescue Onitsha and the entire State from touts. If you have or know anybody that is not doing anything call us with the phone numbers made available to you now. Market leaders use these touts to harass and extort Innocent people,” he revealed.

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Governor Soludo said that ridding the markets of touts will be part of the parameters to reward hard working market leaders saying that by March 2024, the tenure of all market leaders, including that of the President General, PG, of Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders’ Association, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna, would expire and those who performed excellently well will have their tenure renewed.

Contributing, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Hon. Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi (rtd), expressed optimism that the fight against touting would be fought to submission tasking the squad to live up to the expection of the people adding that the governor has come to sanitize Onitsha and the entire State.

Chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Area, Chief Emeka Joseph Orji disclosed that the council authorities would soon unveil an anti-touting monitoring team to checkmate the activities of the anti-toutung squad to ensure that they did not exceed their boundary.

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Orji refuted the claims that the anti-touting squad were touts given official uniform to continue touting saying that anti-touting had been an agenda in Onitsha South LGA. “The State Government has come to our rescue and we shall join hands together to fight it. We shall also in a week’s time unveil a monitoring team to checkmate the activities of the anti-touting squad”.

The state Commissioner for Homeland Security, Chief Chikodi Anara, flanked by the state Director of Operations, Anambra Vigilante Services, AVS, Chief Chinenye Ihenko (a.k.a Okpompi) assured the Governor that in few months to come, the issue of touts and their activities would become a thing of the past.

The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Hon. Chiejina Anthony saddened with activities of touts scaring and terrorizing sojourners within her country home warned all the touts who are currently extorting motorists and law abiding citizens in the state to leave the state alone or be prepared to face the consequences if caught.

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