Effort by the Senator Ben Ayade led administration in Cross River to put in place structures to checkmate the scourge of climate change ravaging the world took a great leap today with the inauguration of the cadet cadre of the Cross River Green Police.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony held in the conference room of his office, Governor’s office, Calabar, Governor Ayade, explained that the Green police has the constitutional powers to enforce Cross River sanitation laws and policies, enforce arrest, issue warrants and to ensure that every citizen as well as resident of Cross River complies with the sanitation and environmental policies.
Ayade further stated, “It also has the responsibility to ensure that all refuse and drains are kept clean, all fences painted and kept clean. It also has the responsibility of the Green Police to ensure that all houses have a minimum of four trees planted, every house to the point of the tarred road is properly kept clean and green.
It also has the responsibility to ensure that all environmental contractors, from grass cutting, irrigation contractors, landscaping contractors, urban and forestation contractors, public parks contractors and other small sub-contractors, including waste collection and refuse management will be directly under your control and supervision. Until green police gives approval, they cannot get their invoices. It has the responsibility to ensure that greater Calabar looks clean, green and better. It is your responsibility also to ensure that Cross River State and indeed Calabar remain the most beautiful and cleanest city in Africa.
It is our hope that with the launch of this Green Police today, we are going to have a city that is the cleanest and the most decent in the entire world. You have a big challenge, you have a big task. But to the great and wonderful people of Cross River State, we know you for your cleanliness and your good sanitation, this is just to encourage you, support you and superintend the process but not to police you, because we know you are a very compliant people. Because we love you so much, we want to make you leave in a clean environment”… Ayade maintained.
The Governor said that the major policy trust of his administration is to sustain the zero deforestation and absolute conservation, while at the same time looking up to the issue of forest management as the new way to go, explaining that the policy is all about absolute conservation hence deforestation of any nature without approval from government remains illegal.
He further explained that the Green Police also has the responsibility to arrest every single truck found carrying woods, and that their responsibility also goes from climate change to the climate commission, environment and everything that will make us have a better life as a people.
“The green police therefore is a celebration of what the people of Cross River State are known for, cleanliness and Godliness. Today the 11th of November 2016, we hereby and formally launch the Green Police. Each vehicle/officer will be attached with a police officer and will be policing a particular zone on environmental and sanitation issue. They will also ensure that all the visitors and all the people coming into Calabar will understand our ethics and our codes when it comes to environment and sanitation. We are therefore the green eye of Africa as we look into the periscope of opportunity that Cross River State will continue to lead and dominate the African landscape when it comes to issues of climate change. We are very proud of you.
Cross River State will continue to give a leading light and a true example of what true leadership is. Calabar is not green just because it is our nature, it is because we do something about it, it is not a gift it is an effort, it is this effort that leads to the results that we see today and so the people of Cross River State, precisely Calabar want to take this higher. The entire work force for the Green Police is estimated to be 3,000 at full capacity, with their vehicles attached, we are starting with just Calabar and hoping that as they find their feet and bearing, we will extend to Local Government Areas. Very soon Green Police will find its route to the entire 18 Local Government areas in Cross River ultimately. The highway Green Police will be inaugurated shortly, whose responsibility is to ensure that they check every vehicle for woods and for our forest resources”.
In his short remarks, the commissioner for Environment, Engr. Mike Eraye said that the structure and vision of the Cross river Green Police has been outlined, and that before Ayade’s administration, the green areas of Calabar in particular has been depleted and that deliberate policy direct is ongoing to re-green the city through irrigation with approval of two water tankers to get to areas without water.
Engr. Eraye explained that the greening of the city of Calabar will go a long way to support climate change and that waste management has been developed and will be driven to a successful end, adding that the Green Police will be deploy to support what the ministry is doing in the streets of Calabar and commended Governor Ayade for his effort in this regards.
In her opening remarks, the Commissioner for Climate Change, Dr. Alice Ekwu said that the today’s inauguration is mainly for the cadet cadre of the Green Police and that the other categories of the Green police include those who prepare and water the nursery and those who will trim the trees.
Dr. Ekwu disclosed that issues concerning the Green police and other environmental issues and how to tackle them were planned by Ayade before coming to office and stated that the effect of climate change cut across all socio-economic, political, cultural, race and religious barriers and that the setting up of the Green Police is aimed at ameliorating the climate change effects.