The Chairman, Oyo State Environmental Taskforce, ACP Ojomo Francis has sounded a note of warning to hoodlums that attack environmental task force officers to desist, as the agency would henceforth arrest and prosecute those found culpable.
He said the officers on environmental sanitation enforcement duties were backed by the law of the State and their duties were to safeguard the environment for the benefit of all.
About four officers of Oyo State Environmental Task Force were on Thursday, 17th September, attacked and critically injured in Ibadan while they were on the weekly sanitation enforcement duty.
Ojomo, however, said the officers were recuperating at an undisclosed medical facility in Ibadan, praising the State government for coming to the aid of the affected officers.
“We all know that to change a habit is always arduous, but the leadership of the Oyo State government, headed by Engr. Seyi Makinde has made it clear that continuous sensitization and stakeholders’ engagement will naturally change the attitude of those that would want to persist in dumping refuse indiscriminately.
“The officers attacked last Thursday were doing statutory jobs assigned them by the government through this agency, we thank God they are fast recuperating but we want to sound this note of warning that whoever attacks environmental sanitation enforcement officers again will not find it funny, they will be arrested and prosecuted.
“It is our job to make Ibadan and Oyo State clean, we will not shirk this responsibility, we will not hold back, we will not be intimidated,” he claimed.
ACP Ojomo described street trading as an act borne out of ignorance rather than poverty saying the consequences of the act outweighed the gains, as many have died from vehicular accidents due to loss of control of vehicles by the drivers.
He maintained that most of those hawking by the streets also have stalls or shops but would rather stay on the street because of the belief that they would sell better by the roadside.
He called on the people of Oyo State to cooperate with the government in ridding the State of filth and promote good living by maintaining a clean environment.