By Kemi Olatunde
It was a state of hostility in Odo Ijoka, popularly known as sabo, as residents especially street thugs failed to comply with the July edition of the Ondo State monthly environmental sanitation exercise on Saturday.
But for the preparation of the team led by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sunday Akinwalire, it would have been business as usual as the street could best be described as a dump. The stench from the street is enough to infect other residents with diseases.
As early as 8:30am, the youths gathered in large number at every spot, neglecting the environmental law, shambling around and engaging in some other activities.
Within the twinkle of an eye, a good number of violators were arrested, while others took to their heels.
Due to the dirty state of the environment, some Hausa residents were forced out of a complex which they use as shelter in the night, to clean the environment especially the street road and drainage.
Speaking with The Hope, Akinwalire expressed displeasure with residents of the community describing the level of compliance as zero.
He berated the adamant nature of residents there noting that the team has visited severally to ensure they embrace healthy living adding that government is ready to ensure that all obey the law.
According to him, those arrested will appear before the environmental court and appealed to residents to do the needful in maintaining clean environment in order to prevent environmental related diseases.
He called on traditional rulers to sensitise landlords on flood prevention in their jurisdiction.
He called on traders to clean their shops and not litter the environment with their waste.
He commended PSPs in the state and urged them to corporate with government in achieving the desired result while calling on house owners to keep their drainages clean and also embrace proper waste disposal.
He expressed appreciation to stakeholders and solicited more support in making the state cleaner.
Acting General Manager, Ondo State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Adekunle Olajumbu while frowning at the lackadaisical attitude of some residents towards the exercise said that the authority is more prepared to enforce the environmental law in the state.
He said that it has put in place both early morning and night enforcement aside the routine enforcement to checkmate the excesses of citizens especially those who dump waste illegally along major roads in Akure.
Chief Elejoka of Odo Ijoka, Afolabi Ropo urged government to help sanitise the area noting that most youths arrested don’t reside on the street.
He commended government action and advised that all key into the exercise.
Ondo State Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Ogunmolawa Adewale said that the involvement of youth in the exercise is to assist government in controlling violators of the environmental law.
64 offenders were arrested with over half of the figure arrested on Odo Ijoka alone.