By Chukwudum Ebele
As the season of Christmas approaches, illegal revenue collectors operating in Anambra state have been given a 48-hour deadline to quit the state or be prepared to face the consequences arising from their illegal acts.
Already, a joint task force set up by the state government against touting and illegal internal revenue have arrested no fewer than 10 suspected illegal IGR agents, who were caught extorting money from drivers and passengers within Onitsha.
The task force jointly led by the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Chief Uchenna Okafor and his Transport counterpart, Afam Mbanefo, also had Anambra Traffic Management Agency, ATMA; Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA; markets leaders, Anambra vigilante groups, the police and others as members.
Reacting to the development, President-General of Bridge-Head Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, BHMTA, Sunday Obinze, warned all illegal revenue collectors and criminals to leave the vicinity as, according to him, apart from the government task force, the market has equally set up its own task force to clip their wings.
Obinze disclosed that the market leaders in the area were currently sensitising the people against falling prey to the swindlers and criminals, who he said, would not be spared if caught in the act, as their actions were sending negative signals to customers coming to Onitsha from far and near.
In his own reaction, the chairman of Anambra North Vigilante Services, Chief Chinenye Ihenko (Okpompi), warned such illegal revenue collectors and other criminal elements to leave the entire commercial city and its environs or have themselves to blame.
Ihenko noted that the activities of the illegal revenue agents and some criminals, who have been terrorising customers in Onitsha have become too inexplicable that the AVG would no longer fold its arms and watch them scare customers from coming down to Onitsha markets to buy their goods.