Reporter : CHRISTIAN NWANGENE
An anti-touts task force has been established in Enugu State to check the menace of touting activities in the area.
The group known as Focus Initiative Against Touts was inaugurated at the weekend.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command, Mr. Abdurrahaman Ahmed, represented by Mr. Innocent Nkeamatara (CSP), commended the initiative, and advised members of the task force to be courteous and avoid the use of the opportunity to witch-hunt people or settle political scores.
“Mine is by way of advice, what you’re doing is commendable, but please do it with every amount of courtesy, give it a human face, and please do not see it as an avenue to show vendetta, do it with every level of seriousness, be very courteous, so that people will not turn against you, because if people turned against you, it means you’re running against the law and it will be very rediculous if people see the police coming to arrest you.
“Be assured of Police cooperation at anytime any day, but I will urge you to work within the armbit of the law,” he cautioned.
In a speech, the National Coordinator, Focus Initiative Against Touts, Mr. Victor Johnson, also urged the personnel to be civil and friendly while on duty.
Mr. Johnson, urged the personnel to cooperate with security operatives to flush out touts in the area.
He warned them against taking laws into their hands, emphasing that they were not authorized to arrest, rather report cases to the security operatives, whose mandate is to arrest and prosecute.
“You must be very civil in your operations, please don’t be overzealous in whatever thing you do; the rule of the game is very explicit, you must be courteous, humane, objective, friendly, listen to the people even when they commit the offense, please listen to them.
“We will not want anybody to bring any bad character that will tarnish the image of this association, and if you do things that is (sic) not normal, we will not hesitate to call off the operation.
“You know you have no cutlass with you, no guns with you, the only gun you have is the security agencies that will be accompanying you to do the job. So, whatever decision you want to take, please listen to them, ask them, Oga we want to do this, if they tell you leave it, leave it,” Mr. Johnson admonished.
The representative of the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Enugu State Command, Mr. Tony Ehi, said the havoc being caused by touts was no longer acceptable because of its negative effects on the image of the country.
Mr. Ehi stated that FRSC would work in synergy with the initiative to curtail the ugly trend.
“We will work together, we are always on the road 24/7 and I can tell you with all the assurances in my mind that if you need our cooperation, we are more than ready to assist you. All you need to do is to call on us, regardless of the time, we will honour your invitation.
“We all know what we’re passing through in the hands of touts; touts are everywhere in Nigeria, they can do and undo, so if there’s a body that wants to stand against the unpredictability of the touts, I think we’re in order,” Mr. Who remarked.
The Enugu State Coordinator, Focus Inniative Against Tout, Mr. Chinedu Eche and the Special Adviser to the Enugu State Governor on Security Matters, Evangelist Tochukwu Obiorah, said the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was determined to apply the full weight of the law to permanently address the issue of touting in the State.
They noted that the Initiative had built the capacity of the personnel to carry out their job in a civilised manner.
“You’re like a born again in the Christian language, remember! If you’re fighting against touting, you will also obstruct yourself from being a tout, because now every security agent and the society as well will start watching you, because you will give out what you have, you cannot give out what you don’t have,” Mr. Ex he stated.
For the special Adviser, Mr. Obiorah, “What you have to know and bear in mind is for you to go back to drawing board and know that this institution has reformed you to become another person.”
In their separate remarks, the Director of Operations, Intelligence and Enforcement, Dr. Michael Uzor, and the Supervisor of the Fiat, Chief Fred Onwuamaze, said the Agency was a whistle blowers platform for Intelligence gathering.
“What we are is whistle blower? Whistle blower is that anything we see that’s illegal, we consult the agency that’s in charge and help them to see that these things are put to a stop,” Dr. Uzor noted.
The Supervisor of the Fiat, ChiefOnwuamaze noted that the “reason why we have a good relationship with every security agencies, so that whenever we are in a situation and see that things are going wrong we know the agency to call,”
According to the two speakers, the Team will combat cultism, kidnapping, drug abuse, child abuse, indecent dressing, child trafficking, touting activities and rape.