Posted by News Express | 11 May 2020 | 945 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The South-East Amalgamated Market Traders Association has accused the police and other security agents of impeding the success of border closures in the state by collecting bribes.
The association regretted that the action has led to the influx of both human and vehicular movements into states and increasing risks of Coronavirus spread into the state.
The traders, in a letter of commendation to the state Governor Willie Obiano for his resilient approach towards maintaining a COVID-19 free state said that there is still room for improvement.
It expressed worry that most of the commuters whose status are not known are coming into the state from the epicentres of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter which was jointly signed by the President-General Chief Gozie Akudolu and the Secretary-General of the traders’ association, Mr Alex Okwudiri, and made available to journalists in Awka over the weekend partly reads: “It is on record that since an index case was recorded in the State, the speed of light with which your administration handled the case with the success in the contact tracing as well as the clinical management of the case that resulted in full recovery of the patient within a record time, without further spread, was a clear evidence that you were fully prepared for the pandemic in a “no retreat, no surrender” position.
“However, we wish to remind you that in every good situation, there is still room for improvement as we are deeply worried by the happenings in all our boarders with other states which are supposed to be locked.
“We want to sincerely inform Your Excellency that they are literally as open as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, as some security operatives were inadvertently sabotaging the good works of their Command by accepting financial inducements from vehicle drivers and commuters and allowing them passage
“Both print and electronic news media are always reporting this. Our greatest worry is that most of these commuters, whose status are not known, are coming from the epicentres of COVID-19 pandemic.
“If this development is left unchecked, the genuine efforts of your government in containing this scourge will be grossly jeopardized. We are most humbly appeal to Your Excellency to draw the attention of our “Crime burster” Commissioner of Police, John B. Abang to this development with a view to his fishing out these security operatives destroying the good image of the Force. C.P Abang, is undisputably, doing wonderfully well".
While pledging total support of governor’s effort to flatten the curve battle against this COVID-19 pandemic, the traders said that they are ready to render assistance anywhere they are needed.
The association commended Obiano for the appointment of Honourable Uche Okafor as the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce saying that he has cleaned up the mess left by his predecessor.
The statement added: “As we charge you to continue to fire COVID-19 pandemic from all cylinders, accept the assurances of our members esteemed regards.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Mohammed, had recently touted the claim as false challenging people with evidence of bribery at the borders to come forward with it.
Mohammed however said that the state commissioner of police, CP John Bassey Abang, has set up a monitoring unit that investigating allegations of bribery and all other forms of misconducts by officers of the Command.
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