Wike threatens to shut down Rivers Task Force over extortion, compromise

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Governor Nyesom Wike on Sunday threatened to shut down the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks over reports of extortion and compromise by the personnel of the team.

Wike who addressed personnel of the Task Force at Bricks House lamented that the compromise at some of the locations has negatively affected the performance of the team.

He explained that the reduced performance of the task force has allowed street traders to return to some locations including Mile One, Air Force Junction, Rumuokoro and Agip areas of the state capital.

He, however, praised their operation at Garrison.

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The governor said that if the productivity of the team continues to go down today, he will dissolve the Task Force as he will not tolerate a situation where the signs of progress made are reversed.”

He warned them to focus on their assigned responsibilities.

According to him: “All acts of extortion must stop forthwith. Any operative found wanting in this regard will be sanctioned. There is no reason why you should receive bribes from defaulters.”

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“From now on, we will change our strategy. We are going to activate communication outlets for an immediate response whenever criminal elements attack the operatives. Security operatives will be on the ground for rescue operations when the need arises.

“We must show that we are ready to protect the operatives at all times. We are determined to clean up our streets, stop illegal trading and improve all-round security,” he said.

The governor said an additional 200 personnel would be added after their biometrics captured on Monday to strengthen the capacity of the Task Force.

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