The Campaign for Democracy (CD) in Anambra State has raised the alarm over what it called the preponderance of touts in the State.
Chairman of the group in the State, Comrade Ekene Nnamdi, told newsmen in Fegge, Onitsha South Local Government Area, that security had collapsed in the State especially in Onitsha the commercial city of the State and its environs, like Nkpor and Obosi who he said were paying for the consequences.
He further alleged that traders from outside the State had been robbed, extorted, humiliated and wounded by different tout groups “more dangerous than armed robbers killing security men and snatching their guns.”
The group also alleged that most of the touts operating in Onitsha and its environs, particularly from Upper Iweka to Owerri Road, where Naval Ratings, were attacked, killed and their guns snatched, and to Electrical Market Obosi, might even be informants to the daredevil criminals attacking security men.
“We also plead with the new Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, to write his name in gold by flushing out the criminal elements along Owerri Road to electrical market, Obosi, Upper Iweka to Niger Bridge Head, Atani Road, Bida Road, Modebe Avenue, Nkpor and some parts of Obosi, particularly, the entry points of Obosi from Nkpor.
“Security has gone to it’s worst level in the history of Anambra State, and I want to ask the question, where is our Governor? Let me repeat my self, where is our Governor? Why I ask this question is based on what is happening in our dear State security-wise.
“Touts have taken over Anambra State and our Governor being the Chief Security Officer of the State must take responsibility, and I want to ask Anambrarians again, where is our Governor. Is Anambra State still the “Light of the Nation”?
“It seems Anambra Stare is now in a reverse gear, darkness has taken over in the State, Anambra State is the only State in the whole Federation where touts are using marker ball pen as receipt to collect money from motorists and tricyclists. Go to Upper Iweka and Owerri Road you will see for yourself what I’m talking about.
“Go to Bida Road, you will see them, go to Modebe Avenue, go to Nkpor you will see them with their marker ball pen as receipt. They mark on your tricycle and collect money from the driver. Apart from that, at Nkpor now if you drop any bag on the ground, you must pay for it before you leave the spot no matter how small the bag will be.
“Check the two places where Naval Ratings were attacked in Anambra State, Owerri road and Awkuzu junction, you will see that they are the hubs of touting in the State. Everybody knows the level and caliber of touting on Owerri Road and Awkuzu junction. They are the most dangerous places one can be in Anambra State.
“If you carry any small bag in a tricycle, you must pay for it and it is by force. If you dare challenge them, they will beat you black and blue and nobody challenges them, whether Police or Army. Why will such people not turn to armed robbers or be informants to armed robbers. They are the people aiding violent criminals and criminality in the State.
“Anambra Stare is in danger, touts have taken over everywhere and they have formed a defacto government in the State. They listen to nobody, they respect nobody, they do what they like without challenge from anybody or security agents, we are no longer safe.
“If you go to Owerri Road now you will see touts with sticks forcing tricyclists to give them money, it is no more road blocks by the security agencies, the road blocks are now mounted by touts with sticks and other dangerous weapons in every corner of Onitsha and its environs.
“We think it is time for Anambra State government to flush out all the criminals hiding under the name of touts and revenue collectors, robbing and beating people in the State. They are not above the government, unless the government is telling us otherwise, ” he concluded.