Ambode orders arrest of street beggars, traders
TO enhance security of lives in public places, the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday directed the task force on environmental sanitation and other special offences to arrest all beggars and traders loitering the streets of Lagos.
The order was in line with environmental laws operational in the state.
Ambode, in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, expressed concern on the resurgence of street trading in major areas of the state, noting that not only do they constitute environmental nuisance, but also pose security threat to citizens.
He said there was an existing law in the state prohibiting street trading, urging those interested in doing business to seek for space in various modern markets redeveloped by the state government to enhance business activities.
The statement read in part: “At the State Security Council meeting on July 7, it was resolved that the act of street-trading that has continued to hamper free flow of traffic on Lagos roads which further constitutes nuisance and security threat to law abiding citizens will no longer be tolerated.
“Therefore, street traders and buyers will henceforth be arrested and prosecuted. The task force on environmental sanitation and special offences has been mandated to ensure the law of the state against street-trading is enforced to the letter.
The governor, who said that all security agencies have resolved to beef up security in the state so as to ensure that it remains safe for citizens and investors alike, also urged residents in the state not to encourage the trend by patronising them, saying in doing so, they indirectly aid and abet crime.
Ambode also frowned at the prevalence of street-begging, saying that some unscrupulous persons hide under the guise of seeking alms to rob unsuspecting members of the public.
To this end, he said efforts would be made to rid the state of street beggars and destitute.
In a related development, the governor has also met with local and international investors in the state in a move to foster partnership in the plan to open up Lagos for greater business.
According to him: “We have businessmen and investors who are interested in our infrastructure, water, health and power.’’