By Daniels Nwokike.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris has deployed Special X-Squad Teams of the Force across the country to commence, with immediate effect, the removal of all forms of illegal blockage of Highways and roads by unlawful Revenue/Tax collectors, Road Transport Unions, Labour and Trade related unions inhibiting vehicular movement and smooth passage of passengers and goods, and other road users across the country.
The IGP deployed the teams with strict instructions to arrest, investigate and prosecute any person or group of persons found committing this illegal act.
Idris is livid with the way and manner these illegal roadblocks has been springing up across the country particularly on Federal Highways, and is determined to put an end to it.
According to him; “It is unlawful and contrary to the laws for any individual, or group under any name to take laws into their hands and block any Road or Highway in full or any part of it under the guise of collection of Revenue/Tax or enforcement of the interests of such organisations”.
The IGP, citing Taxes and Levies act, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 section 2 (2), advises the relevant State Governments, Local Government Councils, Boards of Internal Revenue service across the Country, various Transport Unions, Labour and Traders Associations, that it is against the law to set up roadblocks, restricting the general public the free usage of Roads and Highways anywhere in the country, for the purpose of collecting Taxes and or levies.
He revealed that the Force receives numerous complaints across the country as these illegal blockage points were most times taken over by Armed Robbers and Kidnappers to rob, kidnap and maim innocent travellers and other road users.
He implored the numerous stakeholders mentioned above to prevail on their proxies, agents and representatives to desist forthwith as the full weight of the law will come upon anyone caught in the act along with their sponsors.
He also enjoined parents and guidance to monitor their children and wards to avoid being used to commit illegal acts under the pretence of employment.
The IGP restated that the renewed commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to continue to enforce the law, guarantee adequate security and safety of every Nigerian and ensure crime free society remained unwavering.