The Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has threatened to sack no fewer than 195 market and park leaders in the state following the activities of touts and miscreants, known as Agberos.
This is coming a few days after some commercial drivers in Onitsha protested against the menace of Agberos in the Anambra commercial capital and called the governor unprintable names over the activities of Agberos.
The drivers stated that Soludo had increased Agbero in the state with most of them wearing government official uniforms to inflict pain on the masses.
Just few days after the drivers’ protest, Soludo decided to launch “Anambra Anti- Tout Squad”, insisting that in 5 months time market and park leaders in the troubled areas would be sacked if the activities of Agberos persisted in their areas of operations.
Soludo said, “Where are the market leaders ? Mr President where are your colleagues in the market ? “They are supposed to be here and in fact that meeting should have been here but all the same you know that your tenure would end in March next year and come April 1st next year we are not going to renew your tenures because of what the touts are doing in the markets and some of you are using those touts to rip off innocent traders and members of the public and make money”
“I want to make it clear that if any tout is found in your markets we are not going to renew your tenures and all of you would be sacked.
“We have five local government areas where these touts operate which are Onitsha North and South, Oyi , Ogbaru and Idemili North and I had announced that those petty traders should not pay tax or any levy at all but the market leaders use the touts to obtain money from them”
Soludo however lamented that in the past people would come from the North and other parts of the country to do business in Onitsha but due to the activities of the touts the economy of Onitsha and indeed Anambra state has been affected.
Speaking earlier the Commissioner for Homeland Matters, Chief Chikodi Anarah warned that all touts in Anambra state should leave the state adding that anyone found as tout would not be spared .
Anarah also announced that the operations of the Anti- Tout Squad would be round the clock, adding that anyone found without any lawful and visible means of livelihood would face the music.
Chairman Onitsha of South Local Government Area,Mr Emeka Joseph Orji who spoke on behalf of the five Council Chairmen said they were going to work with the squad to rid the area of touting.
Orji noted that before now they had been battling with touts adding that this development had given a more impetus to clear the area of miscreants.