Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State on Saturday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, threatened to sack members of the state’s task force on street trading, illegal markets and motor parks if they do not change their ways.
The governor, who frowned at attempts by the members of the task force to influence the decisions of the mobile courts in the state during a meeting with them, warned that members of the task force had no power to interfere with the work of magistrates attached to the mobile courts.
He said: “I don’t want to hear these negative reports again. You have no right to direct the magistrates on what they should do. Nobody has given you power to talk to the magistrates.
“Your duty is to arrest people and take them to the magistrates. It is left for the court to decide the matter based on the law. It is not for you to tell the magistrates what to do. You don’t have that power.”
Accusing the task force of dwindling performance, the governor tasked them to up their game.
“Events have shown that 70 per cent of you are doing things that are not right. You now allow illegal street traders to operate and you collect money.
“In some instances, you allow illegal motor parks to exist on our roads. That was not the case when you started operations. You must remember that nobody can be rich overnight.
“You have no right to open an account anywhere. If I decide to send you people home, you will start complaining. Several people are interested in carrying out these responsibilities”, Wike said.
He however threatened to take punitive measures against them if they fail to improve.
“This is the final time I will call you for a meeting. By the time I go round again and there is no improvement in your operations, I will send all of you packing.
“Even if you have worked towards the end of the month, I will not pay you. I will simply tell you to take whatever you have collected as part of your salary.
“People commended you when you started. But you are now engaged in some illegal activities. There are other people who are willing to work and I will not hesitate to engage fresh hands”, the governor added.