By Ernest Chinwo
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has dissolved the state Taskforce on Illegal Street Trading and Motor Parks.
The dissolution of the taskforce, THISDAY gathered, was as a result of the death of a motorist following the excesses of members of the agency.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, also said the Special Assistant to the Governor in charge of the Taskforce, Mr. Bright Amaewhule, has been relieved of his appointment.
The statement directed members of the taskforce to return the operational vehicles and identity cards of the body to the Office of the Secretary to State Government (SSG) not later than 4p.m. on August 12.
It said members of the taskforce would be paid their salaries as they return the vehicles and their identity cards, adding that the taskforce would be reconstituted after proper orientation and training.
THISDAY gathered that a mob yesterday attacked and destroyed an operational vehicle of the taskforce for causing an accident involving a pregnant woman at Agip junction in Port Harcourt.
The taskforce members, it was gathered, were chasing a commercial bus driver who drove against traffic when they hit the vehicle of a heavily pregnant woman, causing her to lose control of her vehicle and rammed into a nearby electric pole, injuring two policewomen controlling traffic.
The pregnant woman, who was driving a Toyota Camry, after the accident, sustained severe injuries and was rushed unconsciously to a nearby hospital together with the two policewomen whose legs were crushed by the vehicle.
An eyewitness at the scene, who identified herself as Peace, said men of the taskforce ran away instead of helping the victims, a move which stirred anger, resulting in the destruction of the taskforce operational truck by the irate mob.
Peace said: “The taskforce men were chasing a bus driver who drove one-way at Agip roundabout. While the taskforce members were trying to block the bus, they went and hit an oncoming car driven by a pregnant woman.
“The pregnant women lost control, hit two policewomen controlling traffic before hitting an electric pole, and because of the impact, the pregnant woman lost consciousness, and instead of the taskforce to help her, they ran away leaving their truck.
“It was other good Nigerians that rushed to the scene and took the pregnant woman and the policewomen to the hospital for treatment, and because of that, people started destroying the task force vehicle.”