Delta State House of Assembly, Tuesday frowned at the rising wave of illegal roadblocks and extortion of commuters and traders on roads across the state.
The lawmakers in a motion raised at plenary by the member representing Bomadi State constituency, Hon. Oboro Preyor called on the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori to urge the State commissioner of Police, the Director of the Department of State Service, DSS, the Joint Task Force, JTF and other relevant security agencies in the State to completely and permanently dismantle, remove and close down all existing illegal roadblocks and illegal tax collection points in the State.
The House at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Emomotimi Guwor, also, resolved that the perpetrators and operators of all illegal roadblocks and money collection points in the State be apprehended and prosecuted in line with applicable laws of the State.
The motion which was amended by the member representing Isoko South Two Constituency, Hon Ferguson Onwo, requested the Governor to set up a special task force to ensure that traders, commuters ply the roads freely without molestation.
Leading debates on the motion, Hon. Oboro Preyor noted that the existence of illegal roadblocks and its twin evil of illegal money collection is one of the factors causing the astronomical rise in the cost of goods and services in the State.
Hon. Preyor stated that the perpetrators and operators of the illegal roadblocks and money collection points have often resorted to beating, maiming and dehumanisation of traders and commuters alike who dare to question their illicit deals.
“These miscreants have taken over the roads. You meet them at every little distance. The amount to pay is determined by the miscreants. If commuters refused to pay, they beat them up. The resultant effect of the sad development is high cost of goods in the market. This is Man’s inhumanity to man. Subjecting Deltans to all forms of inhuman treatments,” Preyor explained.
The lawmaker stated that if urgent actions were not taken to address the challenge, it might soon degenerate into a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“The activities of these miscreants are threats to the MORE agenda of the State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevrwori. The situation needs the House intervention to solve the problem as the security and welfare of the people is the primary responsibility of government”, Hon Preyor said.
In their contributions, the member representing Patani, Emmanuel Sinebe, Burutu Two, Oloye Prereotu, Ughelli North One, Mathew Omonade, Ughelli North Two, Spencer Awhofa, Aniocha North, Emeka Nwaobi, and Ika South, Hon Festus Okoh, said most of the operators of such illegal roadblocks are criminally minded individuals and stressed the need to address the issue.
They noted that the existence of the illegal roadblocks is not only unlawful but also impacting negatively on the economic lives of Deltans and indeed, Nigerians.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the House following a voice vote called by the Speaker, Rt Hon Emomotimi Guwor.
Commending the lawmakers for their legislative ingenuity in the motion, the Speaker Rt Hon Emomotimi Guwor noted that the motion is in tandem with the M.O.R.E agenda of the State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori.
Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s Plenary, the Delta State Merit Award Scheme Bill which was earlier billed for a second reading, suffered a setback as it was withdrawn by the lead sponsor, Hon. Emeka Nwaobi.
Also at Tuesday’s Plenary, the House received the report by the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on the declaration regulating the appointment and succession of Unuevmoros and Usiavwes under section 23 of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council and Chiefs Law 2008 in Uvwie Kingdom.