Officials and agents of the Imo State government involved in enforcing laws, rules and regulations have been enjoined to treat members of the public with respect while carrying out their duties.
The state Commissioner for Transport, Chief Rex Anunobi made the call while declaring open a one-day workshop organized by the Imo State Orientation Agency(ISOA) for field operatives of ministries, departments and agencies whose schedules involve dealing directly with members of the public.
Chief Anunobi charged them to see themselves as ambassadors of government before the people because, according to him, their attitude would go a long way in determining the perception of the people about government.
He said while government has a duty to enforce rules and regulations made to ensure an orderly society, the enforcement should be made with decorum and human face so as not to paint the government in a bad light in the eyes of the people.
Chief Anunobi, whose ministry oversees one of the participating agencies at the workshop, the Imo State Traffic Management Authority (ISTMA) however reminded the participants of government’s zero tolerance for corruption.
Earlier, the Director-General of Imo State Orientation Agency, Dr. Ethelbert Okere, told the gathering that the main objective of the workshop was to prepare grounds for a comprehensive public orientation programme being put together by the agency in order to first address those factors that militate against effective mobilization of the people to buy-in into government’s lofty programmes and actions.
He said that the administration of Governor Hope Uzodimma is people-oriented and as such, there is need for those that make contact with the people to reflect that philosophy even while cognizance is taken of a general tendency among the people to disobey laws and regulations.
Other participating agencies at the workshop, which had as its theme, ENFORCING WITH THE PEOPLE, were Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), Imo State Waste Management Agency (ISWAMA), Imo Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO), Imo Civil Guard, Imo Internal Revenue Service and Imo State Housing Corporation.
In her presentation, the Imo State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mrs. Maureen Oparaji, also harped on the need to ensure that government policies are understood by the people.
She pointed out that in these days when there is widespread disenchantment for various reasons, most especially economic hardship and insecurity, enforcing laws, rules and regulations should be done with utmost caution so as to prevent avoidable clashes between government agents and members of the public.
Another resource person Mrs. Bessina, Onepe, the Imo State Police Command Traffic Officer, emphasized on the need to orientate people towards becoming compliant with relevant traffic rules and regulations.
Onepe decried a situation whereby personnel on traffic duties are seen more as enemies than those who have been assigned to maintain orderliness.
A representative of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. David Egejuru, enjoined participants to always approach their assignments with civility so as to command the respect of the people rather than attempting to intimidate them.
Another resource person, Professor Frances Chukwukere, of the Department of Linguistics, Imo State University, spoke on the need for field operatives to be patient with the people.
Chief Fidel Onyeneke, a public affairs analyst, who moderated the workshop, also told the participants to see themselves as the mirror through which the people see the government.
He pointed out that the government of the day is judged by the nature of their attitude while on the field.