By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cadet Cadre of the Cross River State Green Police, an initiative of the governor, Ben Ayade to combat climate change was on Friday unveiled in Calabar with a charge to be diligent and committed to their mandate.
“We don’t want to see you compromise by way of inducement. We don’t expect anybody to compromise because you have a car each to yourselves and you detect what you should be paid as your allowances” warned Governor Ayade while presenting the keys to the cadets who decked in Green and Ash colored Khakis supposedly sewed at the Cross River Garment Factory.
Ayade who described them as the “Green eyes of Africa” said that the Green Police conferred with powers to enforce the state sanitation laws and policies, can arrest and issue warrants while ensuring that all citizens and residents comply with the state’s sanitation and environmental policies.
“It is your responsibility to ensure that all drainages are kept clean, all fences painted and kept clean, every single house has a minimum of four trees planted and the environmental contractors ranging from grass cutting to desilting, irrigation, landscaping, urban afforestation renewal, public parks, waste collection and management, remain directly under your control and supervision” Ayade said.
The governor who pointed out that the state will always lead the way in combating climate change added that: “If we have to maintain the Calabar status as the most beautiful and cleanest city in the country, all I ask of you is to be soft, diplomatic and gentle while hoping that Cross River will continue to lead and dominate the African landscape when it comes to issues of climate change mitigation”.
“Calabar is not only green because of our nature but because we do something about it. It is not a gift, it is an effort and it is this effort that leads to the result that we see today” Ayade said.
Also, he called on Cross Riverians to comply with directives of the Green Police. He said: “We know you for your cleanliness and good sanitation, this is just to encourage and support you as well as superintend the process, not to police you because we know you are a self compliant people. We love you and want you to live in a cleaner environment.”
The cadets CrossRiverWatch gathered, are to be paid an ‘incorruptible’ salary of about N150,000 monthly.
The event was witnessed by key government functionaries including the Climate Change commissioner, Alice Ekwu and her counterpart in the environment ministry, Mike Eraye.
However, the Kia Rio vehicles presented to the Cadets as earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch, are still parked at Government House alongside those meant for distribution to Security Agencies.
Ayade had on May 26, 2016 inaugurated about 1,500 volunteers and commissioned 25 Ford Ranger 4X4 Special Utility Vans to be used by the non arm bearing arm. This brings to a total, 35 vehicles giving to the green police with only one visible across the state so far.