A chieftain of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and BoT member of the party in Anambra State, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka has expressed worry over increasing number of fake revenue collectors in the State characterized by touting and styles of hoodlums.
He said the suspects paraded and brandished fake authority papers as they capitalized on such papers to forcibly extort money as tolls, levies and ticketing from both commercial and private motorists as well as traders, market women, truck and wheel barrow pushers.
Speaking to newsmen in Rojenny Games Village, Oba in Idemili South Council Area of the state, Ezeonwuka noted that touting by hoodlums and miscreants who paraded themselves as revenue collectors was like a thorn in the flesh of the State, particularly in the commercial city of Onitsha and Nnewi.
He alleged that some cabals in the State had hijacked the revenue of the State using hoodlums to have their way and unleash terror on the unsuspecting members of the public.
He lamented that the hoodlums working for the cabals had brought misfortune and untold hardship to Anambra State government owing to the fact that the money they collected were channeled to their private accounts.
He said, “A good number of traders from neighboring States like Delta, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Abia, Ebonyi, Rivers, Cross River, Balyelsa and Akwa Ibom no longer come to Onitsha to either buy or sell goods as hoodlums molested them with all sorts of ticketing and forcible demand of levies and tolls ranging from N500 to N10,000 with fake receipts.
“These cabals have dealt Anambra revenue a huge blow. They rake millions of naira belonging to the State and convert the money into private investments like building market plazas, hotels, housing estates and petrol filling stations while the State Government is struggling to raise money to pay salaries and execute developmental projects. This has to stop.”
The APGA chieftain who is also a patron of Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) and Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on security matters questioned the source of the authority papers issued to the revenue agents in the State and called on Governor Obiano beam his searchlight on the fake revenue collectors.
“The hoodlums ambush motorists, forcibly wave them down and jump into the vehicle like a monkey jumping on a tree. These crude activities in the name of revenue collection has to stop. Anybody found flagging motorists down in ambush for extortion has to be arrested by the anti touts. Enough is enough, ” he maintained.
He urged government at all levels including town unions and others to establish a central revenue collection points where traders, private and commercial drivers would have to go and pay revenues such as tolls, fees, dues and levies and be certified with authentic and written receipts as obtained in civilized countries.