The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has announced that it will commence investigation into the alleged ordering of students of Edgerley memorial girls secondary school in Calabar, by a Green Sheriff personnel to pack refuse after littering the street.
The Green Sheriff was created by the governor to tackle the challenges of environmental degradation, climate change and deforestation.
A statement issued on Thursday, by the spokesperson to Governor Ayade, Christian Ita, said the governor will investigate the matter in view to "identifying the officer involved and taking appropriate action"
The Special Assistant to Mr. Ayade on media and publicity, Emmanuel Ulayi posted the photos which shows a student packing refuse from the streets with her bare hands.
"Green Sheriff ensuring environmental sanity in Cross River State as the men of the sheriff this morning caught students of Edgerly memorial girls secondary school dumping refuse on the ground. They were taken to their school authority and seriously warned never to repeat the act again. This happened at Edgerly street." he wrote.The photos sparked outrage and condemnation from social media users, with many commenting on how unsafe it was.
"The attention of the Cross River State Governor Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade has been drawn to an incident involving an officer of the Green Sheriff asking a student of Edgerley Memorial Girls Secondary School Calabar to pack refuse which she dumped wrongly on the floor at a dump site when the dumpsters where yet not full," the statement reads.
“The state Governor regrets this over reach and lack of discretion of 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 off their waste appropriately and building the cleanliness culture which the state is known for.
“Once again, the governor wants to assure all citizens that it is committed to keeping the state clean and green but will do this in a civil manner that will respect rights of citizens and decency.”