By Kemi Olatunde
There was an uproar last Saturday during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Akure, the Ondo State capital as two personnel who claimed to be with the Presidency broke the state law by destroying the barricade put in place by the environmental team and also shot into the air.
The barricade was put in place to prevent both human and vehicular movement during the stipulated period for the exercise.
The environmental team which comprises Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sunday Akinwalire, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye, General Manager, Ondo State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Fola Omowole, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Bunmi Alade among others were on ground to ensure that residents key into the exercise.
“I am ready to take life.” This was a statement made by one of the two escort police officers who accompanied some unidentified persons as they forced their way through the environmental team along Adegbemile axis, opposite ‘A’ Division Police station to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), claiming to have a flight to take by 11:30am.
One of them who was identified as Seye by someone among the offenders’ team insulted the state, calling the people of the state imbecile, foolish and wicked.
In his furious state at the airport where the environmental team later visited, he said that he has been away from the state for 10 years before returning for a burial due to the attitude of the people of the state.
As gathered, Seye, came to the state to bury his mother in Okitipupa on Friday.
The offenders’ were released because their flight to Abuja was on ground but two of the vehicles which accompanied them to the airport were impounded and taken to the A Division Police station.
The vehicles are a Sienna car with Kwara registration number LRN 66 AM with the logo of Health Education Practitioners of Nigeria, an affiliate of Nigerian Association of Health Educators on it and a Lexus jeep.
Speaking with The Hope, Charles Titiloye stressed the need for the Nigerian Police Force to fish out the involved officers for adequate sanctions, stating that it is no longer acceptable for officers of the law to break the law saying “they have acted in a manner that compromised the security of the state.”
According to him, the bullet released into the air is meant for criminals and not government officials on duty, thanking God that no casualty was recorded in the process.
He assured that environmental offenders will be charged to court and prosecuted accordingly.
Also speaking, the Environment Commissioner stated that government is bent on ensuring a cleaner state and protect its people, adding that it will do the needful in ensuring that the environmental laws are respected by people.
During the exercise, no fewer than 242 offenders including those building a shopping complex opposite the Nigeria Police band, Ondo State command, Akure and over 54 vehicles were arrested.