Chairman FCT Special Task Team on Abuja Environmental Protection, Squadron Leader, Abdullahi Adamu Monjel (rtd.) has said that street hawkers and beggars apprehended in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) could be jailed if found guilty by the court.
Monjel made this disclosure yesterday after he led members of the Task Team on a “show of force” of its security personnel at the Jabi and Wuse Districts of Abuja.
Monjel, who reiterated that the grace for beggars and street hawkers to vacate the city had elapsed, noted that his team would remove the violators from the streets of Abuja.
He said beggars and street traders had been given the benefit of doubt and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board was now going to enforce the relevant municipal laws against offenders.
“Anybody we arrest will be taken to court and prosecuted accordingly in line with the existing rules and regulations. As a matter of fact, we don’t want hawkers and beggars within the Abuja city centre. They should keep away from the streets. Defaulters shall be prosecuted and jailed,” he threatened.
He said the cleanup campaign tagged “show of force exercise”, was carried out to build confidence in public that the Task Team is always ready to uphold the relevant laws on Abuja environment.
He also disclosed that the Team has started sensitization for operators of commercial tricycle, (Keke Napep), unpainted taxis and motorcycles; adding that at the appropriate time, they will be prevented from the roads. He clarified that Keke Napep are to be restricted to the very large estates.
“We want to give adequate time for sensitization so that by the time we start impounding unpainted taxis and Keke Napep after the expiration, nobody will say ‘I didn’t know,” Monjel said.