AMAECHI DEFENDS SOLDIERS IN TIMARIV
Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has assured Rivers people and residents of Port Harcourt that military personnel working with officials of the state Traffic Management Agency (TIMARIV) would be withdrawn from the streets as soon as the roads were rid of illegal trading and hoodlums.
Amaechi disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, explaining that military was drafted to assist TIMARIV, especially to enforce compliance with law and order, urging members of the public to exhibit discipline.
'Before we called for soldiers, we had used the police, we got reports that people were beating up the policemen and the TIMARIV officials, chasing them with machete and guns.
'As the chief security officer of the state, I'm responsible enough to know that this is a democratic state and that the soldiers should not molest anybody but you too must be responsible to the state. When TIMARIV was set up, we said these civilians should set out on the streets and enforce law and order. Instead of obeying them they were being beaten and everytime we had to take TIMARIV staff to hospitals.
'We also discovered that some of those who pose as roadside traders and hawkers carry guns to rob people on the roads and streets particularly when there is hold-up. So we decided that the army should accompany TIMARIV to ensure that people obey the law. If the police try to make you understand and you don't, then the soldiers will.
'It won't last for too long, we only need six months. Once we clear the roads and junctions, the army will return to their barracks.' Governor Amaechi recalled that the state was insecure when he first came in as governor but after enforcing law and order using the army, the state had recorded progress.
'Business is returning. There is an improvement in our IGR. We were doing N2.5 billion, now we are doing N4.5 billion.
So I'm proud to say that people are beginning to regain confidence in Port Harcourt. I will ensure that that confidence continues to grow even if it means bringing out the army.'
Recently, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) raised the alarm to inhuman treatments meted out to motorists and traders by officials of TIMARIV and the State Environmental Sanitation Authority (RSESA) feigning to enforce compliance to law and order in the state. The party, then, demanded the withdrawal of military personnel attached to the two law enforcement bodies for shielding them.