(By Chris K.Amadi) – All the touts who used to give Obio/Akpor Local Government Area a bad name seem to have fled the area following the no nonsense stance of the current chairman, Barr. George Ariolu, and appear to have found a home in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, PHALGA, where the body language of Hon. Allwell Ihunda, Mayor of Port Harcourt appears to be indifferent to their unwholesome activities.
On a daily basis, these touts, who constitute both a nuisance and security threat along Ikwerre road of the Mile 3 Diobu axis of Port Harcourt, jump into vehicles, drag steering etc. with those on the driver’s seat over incoherent demands, and some of those who spoke to Notable Outcome regretted that the absurdities are taking place close to where the police are also busy allegedly extorting money from bus drivers.
They further alleged that the boldness of the extortionists, and the fact that nothing has been done to stop them the way Obio/Akpor did lent credence to the fear that they might have the support of the Mayor of Port Harcourt, insisting that the mayor cannot claim to be ignorant of the activities of the touts who operate in the open, and constituting themselves into a nuisance on the road.
On a daily basis, these touts stand on the median of the road, stretching from Elechi street to Wokoma, harassing people driving past the area and extorting money from those that they are able to over power.
Analysts who spoke with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt explained that, at a time when the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike is working hard to create an atmosphere that is conducive for investment in Rivers State, that it would be counter – productive to allow touts to have a field day in parts of Port Harcourt city.
Efforts to reach the Mayor of Port Harcourt for comments on this sad development that resurfaced during the first 100 days of his administration were not successful.