The Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has ordered the immediate removal of illegal roadblocks in various locations in the state.
He spoke at a thanksgiving service in his honour by the Post-Transition Committee at St. Winifred’s Parish, Ihugh.
Alia explained that such roadblocks constituted security threats and promote illegal activities in the state.
He said: “The fact that a number of youths are seeing roadblocks as a lucrative business is part of insecurity that is created.
“Once we get rid of that, we will know who the miscreants that are causing disharmony are.
“We would not want them to be under the guise of illegal businesses.”
The Governor urged organisations concerned with such activities in the state to immediately ensure strict compliance with the new directives.
Alia added: “The removal of illegal roadblocks is to prevent the misuse of such roadblocks by hoodlums.
“The instruction is given to allow free movement of businessmen and women as well as easy transportation of goods and services.
“The directives became necessary to enable ease of doing business in the state, safeguard and guarantee free passage of goods and travellers throughout the country.
“To this end, no Police Department, Section, Squad or Unit should mount roadblock as, according to law, security operatives or groups have no reason to mount a roadblock.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Taxes and Levies Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 section 2 (2) disallows any person, including a Tax Authority, from mounting a roadblock in any part of the Federation for the purposes of collecting any tax or levy.”
The Governor equally charged residents to unite against indiscriminate felling of trees to mitigate the impact of global warming.
He noted that by avoiding indiscriminate felling of trees, Benue State indigenes would promote a better appreciation of the importance of nature.
Alia said: “There is need for urgent efforts on a global scale to save the environment and prevent man from self-destruction.
“Man in his greedy and misguided exploitation has disconnected himself from nature with consequent destabilisation of the eco-balance which poses a great threat to life.
“Sustenance of remediation and re-awakening of world consciousness to environmental sustainability have therefore become imperative to save man from self-destruction and guarantee the connection of life on earth.
“It is high time man and nature got reconnected to promote environmental, security and sustainability of healthy living on earth.”
Alia underscored the economic benefits gotten from trees, on which the people of the state would be enlightened better to enable them opt out of poverty.
“Economic trees can sustain a family, children school fees and upkeep can be sustained through these means, the youth can be empowered through these means,” Alia said.
He commended Benue people for their support and prayers and appealed to them to remain steadfast and look forward to better days ahead.