TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) has frowned on repeated cases of attacks on service providers by cart pushers in the state.
Sole Administrator of RIWAMA, Felix Obuah, in his statement yesterday in Port Harcourt, condemned persistent violation of the ban on cart pushers, who have continued to litter the roads and streets of Port Harcourt, as if they were on a mission.
Obuah said the action of the cart pushers was a height of disregard to Rivers government on sanitation laws.
He said: “The height of this vicious disregard for the Agency’s directives and sanitation laws of the State, is the penchant by these cart pushers whose members are mainly Hausa to attack anybody perceived to be standing in their way as they dump wastes at will.
“Information reaching my office also has it that on Monday night, at about 9:30pm, a group of those cart pushers numbering over 15, attacked and inflicted severe injuries on the service providers working for RIWAMA at Rumuomasi axis of Port Harcourt.
“The way and manner the cart pushers who were armed with draggers, irons and machetes stormed the receptacles where the refuse evacuators were to start work and swooped on the defenceless service providers, shows that the violent attack may be premeditated and may have some sponsors.
RIWAMA boss warned that the agency would not condone further attack on its personnel, declaring that any cart pushers found contravening the State government’s law on sanitation would be prosecuted.
Obuah stated: “For the avoidance of doubt, let me repeat it for the umpteenth time, that all the sanitary laws of the state and by-laws of RIWAMA are still in place and any violation or disregard for these laws in part or in whole will not be tolerated and will be visited with the full might of the law inspective of who is involved.
“For the purpose of reminding those who may feign ignorance of the RIWAMA laws and directives, the time for dumping of wastes still remains between the hours of 6pm to 12 midnight and all wastes must be disposed at the approved receptacles.
“The number of Service Providers engaged by the State government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike attests to the degree of concern he has for the health status of the State and all the people living and doing business in the State. Hence, the huge sums of money being spent in this regard.
“Not taking these sanitation laws seriously is a great offence let alone attacking the innocent refuse evacuators and occasioning bodily injuries on them.
“We condemn in very strong terms this unwarranted attack by our brother Hausa cart pushers on our service providers and hereby warn that enough is enough, as we will not condone this unruly behaviour any longer and will make sure that the full weight of the relevant laws is invoked on such recalcitrant cart pushers and other offenders”, Obuah declared.