Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, on Saturday, February 29, arrests footballers during an ongoing football match while monitoring the monthly environmental sanitation exercise.
The drama happened when Egbeyemi was on his way to communities in Gbonyin Local Government to monitor compliance with the environmental sanitation.
The Deputy Governor had to alight from his vehicle and stopped some youths who were playing football at a secondary school located along Poly Road in Ado Ekiti, describing their action as a violation of environmental sanitation law.
Egbeyemi counselled the youths to always stay in their houses and clean their surroundings during sanitation hours, after which they are free to come out and be engaged in their lawful businesses and activities.
The youths begged the Deputy Governor to temper justice with mercy, after which the state’s number two citizen released their ball earlier seized and pardoned two of them arrested on the spot by ordering their release.
They hailed the Deputy Governor, whom they described as their father, and his team for being magnanimous, promising not to violate the environmental sanitation law again.
The Deputy Governor’s security team also seized the keys of some motorcyclists and motorists who violated the environmental law by driving around during sanitation hours.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, Egbeyemi also promised that the state government would go tough with owners of houses without toilets, saying such s situation could trigger epidemic.
The keys of the motorcycles and vehicles also seized from their owners were later releases by environmental officials after they had been delayed during the sanitation hours.
Security men on the entourage of the Deputy Governor also forced the defaulters to pick refuse and clean the drains in the vicinity where they were arrested.
Speaking with reporters later in the day at Ode Ekiti, headquarters of Gbonyin Local Government, Egbeyemi commended the people of the area for their mass participation in the exercise.
He, however, expressed dismay that many houses in the town lack toilet facilities urging the landlords to provide same to prevent the spread of diseases to avoid being prosecuted in the future.
Describing lack of toilet facilities, roaming and loitering about, carrying out commercial activities during sanitation hours as serious offences, Egbeyemi said such offences were punishable under the sanitation law.
He said the state government decided not to run the environmental sanitation mobile for February edition of the environmental sanitation, promising that the court would be back next month to try sanitation offenders.
Egbeyemi said: “Our people should know that the hours of seven and ten every last Saturday of the month is for cleanliness of our surroundings and it is a civic obligation that everybody must perform.
“Our problem is with these okada riders and we dealt with many of them today but nobody was taken to mobile court but next month, anybody caught will be taken to mobile court.
“Besides, every house must have a toilet, open defecation is unacceptable in Ekiti because it may bring about epidemic and government wants every house owner to provide toilet facilities.”