Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:47 am
….We’ll impound any truck carrying Almajiris and Agricultural products into Rivers State -IGP
… State Government, traditional rulers should trust the Police to work in the interest of Rivers People
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers Police Command has said the setting up of a technical committee to ensure movement of agricultural products and other essential items was not designed to counter the directives and executives orders of Governor Nyesom Wike’s executive on lockdown of the State.
The state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said on Saturday this while responding to the concerns raised by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers on the recent setting up a Technical Taskforce for the interstate movement of agricultural products and other essential services by the state police command on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Muhammed Adamu
Mukan said the State Police Command will respect all the directives and Executive Orders issued by Governor Wike and the presidency.
The Commissioner made the clarification on behalf of the IGP at a meeting between the Police authorities and members of the Civil Societies Organization/Media Situation Room in the state.
He said that both the Federal and State governments mean well for the people and are working together to fashion out ways to ensure that measures designed to control the coronavirus pandemic will not hinder supply of food items in Rivers.
Mukan said, “Federal government can give some waivers, especially to some Oil operations, it is left for us to harmonize it with extant laws of the state it is just a matter of understanding.
“We are not in any conflict with the Rivers State Government because we are all working for the good of the state, I know that His Excellency, the Governor means well for the people so our duty is to support him to achieve it”.
The Police Commissioner has also warned those bringing foods into the State not come in with any human cargoes when he inaugurated a Committee, comprising the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior and ministry of Defence, on the movement on agricultural products into the State.
The key mandate of the Committee is to ensure the distribution of agricultural produce from the farmers to the consumers at the local areas.
The Police Commissioner categorically warned that any truck conveying food products found with human cargoes hidden inside the goods will be confiscated.
The trucks are restricted to carrying food and Agricultural products, if they go ahead and carry human beings, we will not allow that because the federal government clearly stated that. And if you look at what the state government is doing, it’s not against agricultural products as such. So, a situation where you carry food products and there are human beings in it, becomes a problem, so this Taskforce is addressing that issue’’
It will be recalled that the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers had on Friday raised alarm that the IGP had unilaterally set up a Joint Technical Task Force saddled with the task of ensuring unhindered movement of agricultural products into the state, against the order of President Buhari restricting inter-state travels which was designed to curb the spread coronavirus from one state to another.
The traditional rulers made their concerns known through their Chairman, HRM King Jaja of Opobo, Dandison Douglas Jaja, Jeki V. during a press conference at their secretariat in Port Harcourt.
They argued that the unhindered movements of agricultural products at the instance of Federal Ministry of agriculture may result in also carrying people whose health status, especially concerning Covid-19 are unknown into the State.