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PH: Illegal Task Force Beats Man To Coma

The peace that pervaded the Mgbuoba community along NTA Road was flagrantly disrupted Wednesday morning as a group of young men numbering three and claiming to be PHALGA (Port Harcourt City Local Government) Task force members appointed to apprehend corporate buses operating in the metropolis without the requisite papers, pounced on a driver of a Volkswagen combi bus, deflated his tyres with a plyer and beat him to a pulp with blood gushing out from one side of his skull. At the end of the attack which was only stopped by the arrival of policemen, the victim of the dastardly act laid in coma with blood streaming down all over his body.
At the Shell location junction leading to Ada George Road where the incident took place our reporter was told that the three boys were a regular sight at that area and would usually intercept buses around that very axis even though there is no confirmation that they are genuine task force members.
While the driver laid in his own pool of blood, people started surging towards the scene as the policemen who brought the whole trouble under control were seen radioing their colleagues to bring an ambulance to take the unconscious man to the nearest clinic. In the interim, The Newswriter reporter busied himself with both ascertaining the genuineness of the work by the task force and the task force itself.
The first person approached was a trader that runs a viewing centre near the junction Mr. Ubong John said in his smattering English, “This people always come hear to disturb people, I don’t know what task force they are. We know TIMARIV, we know Road Safety, we know Environmental Sanitation Task force but this people I don’t know them. They just appeared two weeks ago here.”
Another woman, a corper, Mrs. Chinda, noted that she knows one of the Task Force members and that for quite sometime she has known him as a notorious ‘419’.
Hear her, “I know this one”, pointing to one of the three task force members, “he used to live around my area and it is not today he started doing things akin to ‘419’”.
“He is one of those people that would load a car with seeming passengers and when you enter the vehicle thinking you have entered a genuine taxi cab they drive you to a distance and rob you. He is a very questionable character”, she concluded.
The Newswriter engaged some of the bystanders in a conversation and discovered that the opinion of the general public in Port Harcourt was that there is proliferation of task forces doing all manner of enforcements and yet nothing to show for it to the enhancement of the environment.
A decent looking man who identified himself as Mr. Nwachukwu a consultant, said … “I know that Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has established a couple of task forces to tackle different challenges in the state ranging from TIMARIV, Environmental, Demolition, Waterfront and so on but the idea of every Tom, Dick and Harry buying a T-Shirt, be it blue (as the group in question at Mgbuoba were wearing a blue coloured T-Shirt), white, red or any colour and harassing people with impunity is wrong. Look at those boys”, (referring to the tout looking task force members), “do they look like representatives, I mean, people that a responsible government like that of the incumbent governor would give identity cards? My brother, my take is that government should do something quickly before this development reduces governance in the state to crass touting.” Mr. Nwachukwu suggested.
Our reporter finally engaged the leader of the Task Force members by name Michael who claimed they were working for PHALGA and were mandated to apprehend buses corporate buses that operate without genuine documents. The Newswriter reporter asked him where their office was and he said their office was at the PHALGA secretariat.
Our reporter then headed to PHALGA only to discover that there was a similar Task force but not exactly this one and besides, the PHALGA man paused, “Where did you say this happene? When The Newswriter reporter answered Mgbuoba, he now said, “but you should know that Mgbouba is under Obio/Akpor LGA domain and not Port Harcourt City LGA. Invariably, those task force members were illegal”. ###

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