Secondary school students forced by officers to pick refuse with hands

A picture went viral on social media  which showed pupils of Edgerly Memorial Girls Secondary School in Calabar being compelled by an agent of the Cross River State security outfit to pack refuse with bare hands has elicited negative reactions from residents of Calabar-South.


Governor Ben Ayade had in August set up the Homeland Security outfit as well as the Green Sherriff to help maintain order and restore the state to her status as the safest state in the country.

While the exact date of the incident could not be ascertained, a shop owner close to the school gate, Annie Ben, said it had become a daily affair seeing the security operatives ordering passers-by to clear refuse from the gutter with their bare hands.

Ben, who said it was not the first time pupils of the school had been asked by the security operatives to carry out the act explained that several residents of the area had always condemned the action.

“It is not the first time this kind of thing is happening. They have always hung around to identify any person who would drop any dirt on the road. They will immediately pounce on you and ask you to clear the dirt in the environment with your bare hands. This is an unhealthy punishment,” she lamented.

Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita, while reacting to the facebook post, condemned the action of the security outfit personnel.

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He said, “The attention of the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has been drawn to an incident involving an officer of the Green Sheriff asking a student of Edgerly Memorial Girls Secondary School Calabar to pack refuse which she dumped wrongly on the floor at a dump site when the dumpsters were not full.

“The state Governor regrets this lack of discretion by the officer and has directed the Director General of the agency to investigate the matter with a view to identifying the officer involved and taking appropriate action.

“While the State Governor appreciates the work that the Green Sheriff is doing in keeping the state clean and green, he will not tolerate actions that will increase risk of exposure of citizens to infections or other health challenges.

“In line with this, the agency is directed to step up guidance of Officers of the Green Sheriff on acceptable methods of enforcement of sanitation laws and ethical engagement of citizens.

The Governor also encourages citizens to support government’s effort to keep the state clean by disposing their waste appropriately and building the cleanliness culture which the state is known for.”

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )