By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The urban forest guards created by the administration of Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has been renamed ‘Green Sheriff’.
Governor Ayade told Government House Correspondents last week that the use of the term ‘Police’ in the initial name “Green Police” was a bit harsh contrary to opinion that he may have bent to pressure from the Nigeria Police Force who had argued that the name Police was contrary to the constitutional provisions.
Ayade said that the urban forest guards who will now be referred to as “Green Sheriff’ will take charge of the state afforestation and environmental protection policies in conjunction with the State Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Climate Change.
“They will be stationed across the city and will have drivers for those who want to,” Ayade said and further disclosed that they will caution erring residents who litter the streets of Calabar, the Cross River State capital and arrest when necessary.
“If you are seen littering or dropping sweet wrapper, you will be picked up by Green Sheriff. So ensure that there is no littering as the greenery of Calabar must be sustained,” Ayade said, disclosing that Calabar has been divided into 39 segments with contractors attached to sustain the environmental policy.
He continued: “We must maintain that dignity, image, class and elegance that Calabar is indeed the cleanest city”
He said the move will further strengthen the state’s position as the cleanest and greenest in continental Africa as his dream is to see a clean state with “Lush greenery as you can see around the Governor’s office here (and pointed at the green lawns at the Governor’s office premises).”
“The Green Sheriff’s responsibilities will include general sanitation check, nursing and planting of trees, ensuring that refuse bins are evacuated as and when due, report erring wastes evacuation contractors as well as arrest persons who litter the environment,” Ayade said.
The Green Sheriff has in itself stirred controversy with critics claiming that it is a duplication of duties with anti-deforestation task force scattered across the state.
The vehicles earlier marked “Green Police” have all been repainted with the new name; “Green Sheriff” and are currently parked in the premises of the Governor’s office in Calabar.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.