Governor Alia bans holding of public events beyond 10 pm in Benue

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue has signed an Executive Order establishing the Department of Public Order in the Ministry of Justice to coordinate government policies and matters relating to public order.

Performing the ceremony on Friday in Makurdi, Alia said the order was pursuant to section 14 sub-section (2) of the 1999 constitution and section 10 of the Public Order Act, CAP 382 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said he inherited a state characterised by widespread criminality and political violence such as kidnappings, murders, and intimidation against targeted groups or individuals leading to the emergence of local warlords and militia groups.

Represented by the Deputy Governor, Sam Ode, Alia said that those who breach the public rules would pay fines between ₦20,000 and ₦500,000 or be imprisoned, depending on the gravity of the offence.

He said the order prohibits all acts of violence, disobedience, and lawlessness, and called for strict adherence to it.

“Apart from the grave state of insecurity highlighted above, my administration inherited indiscipline and disorderly public conduct which had been accepted by many citizens as norms, rather than aberrations.

“Incidences of disobedience to traffic light, wrong parking of cars, indiscriminate disposal of waste, loitering at late hour, will all attract penalties,” he said

Justifying the signing of the executive order, Alia said the act was to assist in maintaining law and order in the state.

He said the state was facing several security issues and needed to adopt its own measures in collaboration with security agencies and stakeholders to have a peaceful and harmonious home for all.

“Public order, as you know, is no doubt within the domain of the security agencies and law enforcement agencies which make up the criminal justice system in our country,” he pointed out.

Alia said the executive order reaffirms the government’s stand against crime and against disorder.

“We are sending a clear message to those who seek to destroy the peace and harmony of our state.

“We will not tolerate violence, vandalism and any form of criminal behaviour in the State,” he warned.

He announced the establishment of a Public Order Advisory Committee with the mandate to advise government on policies, restoration, attainment, preservation and maintenance of Public Order and safety in the state.

He said a Public Order Committee had been established to operate in all the local government areas by collaborating with the advisory committee and other stakeholders for the enforcement of the prescribed public order laws.

Earlier, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Fidelis Mnyim, had said that all over the world, there is a law where there is order.

Mnyim explained that the observance of law always goes together with public order which is the core responsibility of all governments.

“The duty and responsibility of government is for the protection of lives and property which manifests by way of observance of law and order.

“Section 10 of the Public Order Act has permitted the governor to make such orders.

“Some of the issues that you may see in the public order are in the realm of morality, but, as I said, the section has permitted the governor to do that,” he said.

NAN reports that the order also prohibited extorting money from developers, building on water channels or structures, kiosks, shanties on the right of way, and hawking or selling of goods of any kind by the roadside.

NAN also reports that the order prohibits farming on empty unfenced plots of land in front of any premises on the street, or by the roadside within urban areas.

It also forbids farming in undeveloped areas of Government Offices, Quarters or reserved areas.

It said rallies, wakes and other forms of public gatherings should not be held beyond the hours of 10 pm.

ADVERTISEMENT

It insisted that any person or group wishing to hold a gathering beyond 10 p.m. must seek and obtain a permit from the Department of Public Order at the Ministry of Justice.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*