Ant hill is the home of soldier ants. When humans break a part of it, forces are mobilized to attack the invaders of the colony. The queen who sits at the peak of the pinnacle is hurriedly taken to the bunker at the base of the ant hill for safety. The soldier ants are out to carry out an onslaught on any external aggressor of the colony. The termites are mobilized to carry wet clay that looks like mason’s mortar to rehabilitate the broken ant hill immediately. Soldier ants do riot when they see anything called death while rebuilding the wall. Even when lizards and birds feast on them they are not discouraged until the destroyed part is covered. Soldier ants do not retreat or relent until something is done. The human soldiers are not much different from the soldier ants. They fight to finish. The soldier ants do not know that man is learning from their strategy.
There are commissioned task forces by the various tiers of government in Nigeria. And there are illegal task forces not backed by any bye laws or government order. But they are attracted to the job with the aim of making money easily without much stress. Illegal task forces have denied government at various level good reasonable amount of money. They disguise themselves as people backed by law but they are not. When a victim is caught all amount of intimidation and strategies are carried out to make sure money comes out from the hand by the unsuspected victim. They do not believe in paper work or principle, but they believe in bring the money out immediately or else you are maimed or your vehicle smashed to pieces without mercy. There is no difference between the armed robbers and the illegal task forces. They waylay their victims and make away with valuable items or some times good money.
Illegal forces have made business owners and drivers in Port Harcourt to make double payment for a particular thing. Some times they bring fake receipt and take money as revenue from marketers or shop owners. When the real task forces come to demand for revenue you see the business man running to his drawer to bring out receipt as evidence of payment. But behold, every thing turns out to be fake. And in law there is no excuse. In the end, the business man will pay double for the year. Governments at all levels have tried to stop the activities of fake or illegal task forces, but you see them springing up every day in the cities. Every thing about illegal task force is fake and is not backed by any laws of the state or Local Government council. When confronted sometime they use fake identity cards to operate and deceive the innocent victims.
Indeed, drivers suffer a lot in the hands of illegal task forces in the cities. A middle age man parked his red Toyota Carina Car at garrison bus-stop to drop somebody on Tuesday, 31st July, 2012; before you know it illegal task force members from nowhere pounced on the young man like a lion pouncing on his prey without mercy with his dangerous piercing claws on the flesh of the prey. The driver out of frustration removed his clothes to prove to the task force that he did not have any money on him. But every attempt made by the driver to convince the task force, even when he stood stake naked in the broad day light did not make sense. Even when passersby were taking the picture of the driver standing naked as if he was a mad man; they did not pay attention. They were after the money. The driver was later taken to UTC junction by the illegal task force.
But thank God for the soldiers on patrol that fateful morning of Tuesday 31st July. The unrepentant illegal task force took the man to UTC junction where soldiers then intervened. Solders in their usual form tried to verify the authenticity or authority of the task force team. The driver, the prey was still watching the second episode of the plot that started from garrison junction to UTC junction in Port Harcourt.
The five man task force became illegal instantly as they could not prove their identity beyond any reasonable doubt. And they started running away from the soldiers. The soldiers in turn became lions to them, they were beaten mercilessly. Illegal task force is common in the cities to make quick money from people illegally. One thing is that the illegal task force position themselves at some strategic positions to launch offensives on their victims.
Thus, to clamp down on the activities of illegal task force in Port Harcourt, the various governments should also have secret monitoring teams to check the menace of illegal task forces in Port Harcourt. The reflexive vest worn by the task force team should not be the main identity of any task force. Since there are many organizations that wear such vests. The public should stand the chance of knowing where a team of a particular task force is coming from. Levies and taxes of government should not be paid to person or persons as task force team. There should be a designated office approved by the relevant body where defaulters should go and make payment of their levies or fines.
Illegal task forces have made government at various levels to miss reasonable revenue meant for development of the state. The citizens should be sensitized about the existence of illegal task force to avoid falling victim. The activities of illegal task force are inimical and are capable of reducing the gross domestic product (GDP). Illegal task force does not do any thing good to anybody and even government and for the people. Therefore, there is need to fight against the springing up of illegal task force in Port Harcourt. All hands must be on deck for the fight to be a success.
Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu