The reintroduction of monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state by the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration has really helped in keeping the state especially the immediate environment clean. The last Saturday exercise in the state witnessed massive turn, out of people to clean drainages, surrounding and public places like council secretariats.
Our correspondent who monitored the exercise in parts of the state reports that there has been tremendous improvement as many people were seen taking active part.
However, the exercise has been hijacked in some parts of the state as various uniform organizations and youths see it as an avenue to extort money from motorists and other road users who allegedly violate the sanitation laws.
A particular case in point was observed in Abak local government area where youths carried matchets and other items, blocked roads and extorted money from the perceived offenders. Also youths, who are members of various uniforms organizations also participated in the illegal act. They forcefully collected between N500 and N2,000 when they made arrests during the exercise.
Our correspondent further observed that the impunity was carried out in the presence of the Police that barricaded Abak-Uyo road, Abak Ikot Abasi road, and Abak- ikot Ekpene road respectively.
One of the youths who gave his name simply as Ubong, told our correspondent that coming out to monitor the sanitation exercise has been a blessing in disguise at a time that there is lack of money in the pocket in recent time.
He said that since some of the motorists do not want to observe the sanitation exercise ordered by the government, they have to pay if they are to pass on the road during the period of the exercise.
Meanwhile, a fight broke out among youths at Abak over the sharing of proceeds made during the sanitation exercise on Saturday .It took the intervention of Police (Safer Highways) to save the situation from degenerating to free for all.