Delta State government has vowed to go hard on “Deve” collectors, popularly known as area boys, terrorizing housing developers across the State.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, made this known while addressing journalists in Asaba, following reports that despite existing law, some persons are still disrupting the activities of land developers.
He said: “You know that not long ago, the governor signed into law a piece of legislation outlawing what we used to call deve, the idea of individuals who wants to harass people who wants to bring development, asking them to pay certain amount of money and not allowing them not take advantage of their properties to bring development.
“We are making it very clear because we are getting some reports that some persons are still harassing some individuals in some places.
“That law is in force and that if anybody harasses you because you want to develop your plot of land or property, you are at liberty to notify the law enforcement agencies so that such persons could be prosecuted.
“You will not say because the law has been signed you now take the law into your hands, you now fight those who wants to harass you.
“Once anybody shows up and he wants to harass you in the presence of your legitimate property, take advantage of that law, invite the law enforcement agencies. You now have an instrument with which that person could be prosecuted.
“And we are also sizing this opportunity to warn those who think that they can harass anybody who wants to bring would-be investors, be they local or foreign that we will not hesitate to take advantage of that law to prosecute anybody.
“We are convinced that if the State develop as fast as we desire it to be, these individuals who think deve is the only way through which they can survive, will even get employed gainfully and have more jobs to do and the issue of attacking people and their properties and looking for deve levy will not be”, stressing that the state government frowns at it as such persons are seen as enemies of the state and would be dealt with by the law.
Meanwhile, those living in and around flood prone areas have been advised to come to upper lands as government would not build any Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), camps.
The Commissioner expressed relief that the flood has not come as predicted due to the rain that has sized for a while, “but we are still pleading with our brothers and our sisters to note that the flood will still come and the implications of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet). And such we are asking them to move up lands.
“We have said on account of the Covid-19 and a number of other factors we are not going to as a State open up camps this year. So let not any individual begin to look forward to move into a camp where you are going to be having some free items or palliatives in those camps.
“We will try as much as possible to ensure that we meet our people but we are not going to build camps”, tasking individuals to take responsibilities geared towards avoiding casualties.