By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos
Barely 24 hours after inaugurating the Anambra State Anti-Touting Squad, 64 suspected touts were arrested in various parts of Onitsha on Tuesday.
Along with other suspected criminals, they were arrested around the notorious Upper Iweka, Bridge Head and Chisco Motor Park areas in the commercial city.
Although there is no specific law on touting in the state, it was gathered that the suspects might be charged and prosecuted under existing laws, pending the passage of relevant law by the state House of Assembly.
Director of Operations of the squad, Mr. Solomon Onwuemene, while parading the suspects, said the arrest would continue until the Onitsha metropolis was cleared of criminals.
Onwuemene, who said the suspects would be prosecuted accordingly if found wanting at the end, charged those still deriving pleasure in touting to repent and key into the state government’s various initiatives to become productive.
Recall that Governor Chukwuma Soludo had while inaugurating the squad on Monday, said they would help to restore law and order in the Greater Onitsha area consisting of Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru, Oyi, Idemili North and Idemili South local government areas.
The governor had said, “We have told the youths to come out from their hideouts and the bush. We shall help to rehabilitate and integrate them into society to be useful to their families, communities, states, and nations.
“While dealing with hoodlums on a larger scale, we will be dealing with touts in Onitsha Greater area and Anambra State as a whole.
“We are fighting a war to bring back the soul of our society governed by law and order, not a society where anyone does what he or she likes arbitrarily without recourse to law and order.
“Touts disturb customers who come from every nook and cranny of the country, but this journey is to rescue Onitsha as a commercial hub and Anambra State in general.”