•Says decent jobs be created ,not task force
•Insists task forces are intimidating, harassing Deltans
By Timi Black
The publisher of Focalpoint Reports, Comrade Ezekiel Kagbala has called on governor Ifeanyi Okowa to disband incessant task forces in Delta state, adding that the numerous task forces had been intimidating and extorting Deltans on daily basis.
This disclosure was made in a press statement signed by the publisher himself on Wednesday.
The angry Publisher said the Delta state task forces, especially on revenue and transport are now worst than the police, noting that they are only extorting money on the roads and nothing more.
The statement reads: “The year 2021 is drawing to a close and Delta State is not isolated from ripple effects of bad governance that plagues Nigeria at large.
“His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa wanted Delta State to stand out prosperous as reference point for infrastructural development alongside Job opportunities.
“Out of passion to achieve an economically viable State, Okowa set up Job and Wealth Creations unit in May 2015, when he assumed leadership of the state.
“The Government wanted to end increased rate of youth unemployment by harnessing untapped potentials of youths for self-employment, wealth creation, economic diversification, peace and social harmony in Delta State.
“However, all the efforts would have yield much if the state government had focused attention on encouraging private sectors, small and medium scale enterprises and business.
“More would have been achieved if all local governments had used their internally generated revenue to create jobs through collaborative efforts of encouraging small businesses to employ more and get some sorts of support and incentives.
“If each Local Governments chairmen had focused on collaborating with the state government in the area of sustainable job creation by wooing production, food processing industries to the local governments and the State.
“Warri South Local government area once tried an economic Program that would have been more productive if it was sustained to be impactful”.
The state further reads: I am drawing the attention of the governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to these pertinent issues, putting into consideration that his tenure will end in 2023.
“Also considering that we’re entering a new year, 2022, the governor has just one year left to achieve more in the area of job creation.
“Recently, the worst form of job that negatively motivate some youths to promote lawlessness in the State is the taskforce on every thing.
“Taskforce on Environment, Transportation, Revenue leakage, traffic and host of them. These task-forces miscreants go about harassing and intimidating Deltans in purportedly carrying out their jobs in the worst and uncivilized manner.
“To legalize their misdemeanor, they even collaborate with ‘black market courts’ to create all sorts of what they termed as capital offence just to levy all sorts of irresponsible outrageous amounts of money on their victims.
“Taskforce on environment and waste management board see themselves as money generating agents of the state government by demanding outrageous amount of money that could crumble small scale businesses and discourage the private sector.
“Their collaboration with some courts has really done more evil to members of the public. I could remember vividly one greatest shame to Governor Okowa led administration specifically in September 2020 when Delta State waste management board draged hospitals, Clinics, Petrol stations, Hotels to a mobile court in Warri South Local government area.
“Some lawyers who represented their clients at that court set-up by the Delta State waste management board summarily tried business firms and levied some firms to pay as much as seven hundred thousand Naira.
“Lawyers even expressed displeasure, saying that the firms that were draged to court not duely served. They described the process as court procedural deficiency.
“More shameful was the use of settlement out of court, where unofficial amounts were paid to the revenue officials without issuance of any form of receipt.
“Currently, a more terrible form of job called the Board of internal revenue Taskforce manned by aggressive individuals best described as hoodlums and unschooled touts have been harassing road users on daily basis.
“They even took their misdemeanor to the extent of beating up Married Women on the road.
“I personally called to stop them from extorting the sum of thirty thousand Naira from a private vehicle owner who was up-to-date with his vehicle particulars.
“Did our governor sees any reason to undermine the ability of the police and road safety to check vehicle particulars and licences on the roads? Must they exhibit such misdemeanor to forcefully generate revenue on the roads?. Even when our governor does not take action against those thieves at the board of internal revenue when huge sum of money was reported missing.
“Why the most useless form of job for some youths to be on the road to harass Deltans. Taskforce on revenue leakages suppose to channel their energy inward, especially those generating the state money into their private Bank accounts as consultants, contractors, support personal and lichensing officers.
“Governor Okowa should know better why electronic money payment system into the state government Account is not working.
“Why POS at the board of internal revenue never get to works, the abnormality of some who wants to receive money in cash and make some manipulations will never allow anything good to work.
“Deltans will not be asking too much in demanding that Okowa should removes all the Taskforce extorting money from the roads and end extra-judicial demand of all sorts of payments from hardworking Deltans.
“Payment of endless money to taskforce members including Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO, AKA ‘black and white thieves’ without receipt for possible accountability must end.
“Revenue taskforce are on our roads, impounding vehicles illegally and checking vehicle particulars when they have no constitutional powers or rights to do such. They must stop the show of lawlessness.
“Activities of these touts as revenue taskforce are nefarious, embarrassing and shameful in a state governed by an intelligent and knowledgeable leader.
“Youths who are casually and unlawfully recruited as taskforce should be offered a decent jobs and end Delta State show of shame on the road, Delta cannot afford to be such a lawless state.
“The habit of recruiting touts was once responsible for the relocation of companies out of Delta state during the tenure of Chief James Ibori, which is a bad precedence that has killed Delta State economically”.