From Moses Mbaiorga, Gboko
The Chairman, Gboko Local Government Council, Isaac Mtom has banned all social gatherings in Gboko town with effect from Monday, December 19, 2022 – Tuesday, January 3, 2023, after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Mtom also resolved with the leadership of commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada that henceforth, daily bookings commences at 7:30am and warned that those who act otherwise would risk arrest.
This was contained in a statement made available to The Voice by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Gboko Local Government Council Chairman, Comr. Bright Antyo, on Thursday.
The ban is said to be part of the measures that would help curb the recent hightened insecurity of lives and property in Gboko for a hitch-free Yuletide celebration.
The statement read in part: “It has come to the notice of the Executive Chairman Gboko LG, Chief Isaac Mtom of the reemergence of criminal activities in Gboko LG.
“The Chairman who upon receiving security reports after he returned from a week long leadership training course in Jos, had a closed door meeting with the Gboko LG Police Area Command and other security agents on a view to arrest the situation immediately.
“The chairman outrightly condemned the recent robbery on a resident of Gboko at gunpoint and the trend of machine theft that has recorded over 21 cases already, stating that, a serious investigation and massive manhunt will be carried out by the security agents and culprits would be brought to face the wrath of the law appropriately.
“In view of the above, the honourable chairman resolved that the people of Gboko LG should take neighborhood watch very important and report any suspicious movement to the nearest security post.
“Similarly, the chairman met with leadership of motorcyclists (okada) and directed that their booking time should begin by 7:30am and that anyone found operating before the stipulated time, will be arrested.
“In furtherance to that, the chairman has placed a ban on social gatherings as from 19th December, 2022 to 3rd January, 2023 which has shifted the venue of the PDP flag-off of Gboko/Tarka federal constituency Campaign to Tarka LG on Tuesday next week.
“Conclusively, the chairman advised the police and other security outfits to intensify patrol in town and should not hesitate to respond to distress calls, assuring all those coming to Gboko town for the yuletide to be confident of a successful stay without harassment.”
Following the pronouncement of the ban on social gatherings, Gboko residents quickly came out on social media and at places of relaxation with different reactions.
The Voice gathered that some Gboko residents were of opinion that a waiver should be given to at least the most celebrated social events in Gboko including; Kyegh Sha Shwa (KSS) and Face of Free Fish Festival (FFF). Others considered the directive unnecessary, while others alleged that the ban was politically motivated as Gboko local government had no serious security threats to have guaranteed such a move.