The Ekiti State Government, has warned communities in the state against holding their traditional markets during the monthly environmental sanitation, describing such conduct as a lawless act.
The government stressed that the Ekiti State Environmental Sanitation Law prohibited holding of market, ceremony and movement of human and vehicles between 7–10am during the monthly , saying any counter action is illegal and punishable under the law.
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, gave the warning,on Saturday, while monitoring compliance with the environmental sanitation exercise in Ekiti West and Efon Local Government Areas of the state.
Places visited include Efon, Iwaji, Ikogosi, Ipole, Erinjiyan, Aramoko, Erio, and Ita Ure, where the Deputy Governor and the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Habitat Adubiaro, who was on the entourage, had stopped to sensitize the residents on the significance of the exercise.
Mrs Afuye, in a statement by her Media Assistant, Victor Ogunje, appealed to the Local Government Chairmen to partner the traditional rulers for massive awareness across the towns before the last Saturday of the month when the programme always holds.
She bemoaned the lacklustre posture being exhibited by some residents to the exercise, saying the unwholesome conduct was intended to jeopardise government’s policy in making Ekiti disease-free.
Mrs Afuye, however, threatened that whoever defies the exercise should henceforth be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
The Deputy Governor insisted that Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s administration won’t allow anyone, or group to frustrate government’s efforts at making Ekiti of being adjudged one of the cleanest states in the country.
“Towns can’t be holding their traditional markets and even individuals during the three hours the exercise is to last on environment sanitation day. This is an unlawful.
“It was regrettable that some individuals opened their shops and trading during the exercise. Some towns were holding their markets instead of waiting till after 10am. All these are jeopardising the government’s efforts and we won’t tolerate it”.
Mrs Afuye directed the local government chairmen and environmental officers to carry out widespread sensitisation campaign few days before the exercise for the populace to ascertain the importance government attached to it.
“With what I have seen today, if we are to carry out arrest, all the police stations in Ekiti West and Efon Local Government won’t be able to contain the culprits. We are not going to allow this I don’t care attitude of our people to continue.
“This exercise is for their own benefit. It is not right and proper to allow a breakout of contagious diseases in our dear state, or allow snakes and other dangerous reptiles to be biting and killing our people just because they are not doing the right thing”.
However, Mrs Afuye, lauded the residents of Aramoko Ekiti, for complying substantially with thoe restriction and for also keeping their environment clean.
The Chairman Ekiti West Local Government, Hon. Olusesan Kokere, who received the entourage at Aramoko Ekiti, said the council places premium priority on environmental cleanliness to avert the spread of infectious diseases.
Hon Kokere assured that the Council will rectify all noticeable lapses in other towns in the local government in the subsequent editions.