By Kalada Jumbo
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that communities with prevalence of insecurity, gang violence and kidnapping will no longer enjoy State Government patronage.
Addressing a Special Security Meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the State Government will dethrone Traditional Rulers in communities where gang violence and kidnapping are encouraged.
The security meeting had in attendance the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel, State Director of Department of State Services, Tosin Ajayi, Commander SOG 115, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commander E.O. E Ebiowei, Commander NNS Pathfinder, Commodore SJ Bura and State Commander of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, ML Haruna.
Also in attendance were Local Government Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, CDC Chairmen and all Youth Leaders in the state.
Governor Wike said: “All those Local Government Areas where there is no serious cases of cultism (gang violence) and Kidnapping, the State Government will give them more projects and attention.
“But Local Government Areas where cultism and kidnapping have become entrenched, the State Government will depart.
“For communities where cultism (gang violence) and kidnapping are encouraged, their Traditional Rulers will be deposed. We will not allow crisis in our communities. If you don’t want to take the war to them, we will take the war to you”.
The Governor noted that all youth groups found to be involved in cultism (gang violence) will be dissolved by the State Government.
He noted that under the current dispensation, the Government and people of Rivers State will take their fate in their hands by collectively addressing the security challenges. He urged all stakeholders to work with security agencies to fight insecurity.
“Enough is enough. Nobody arrested by security agencies and cultism will see the light of the day. If you say, we will not sleep, you also will not sleep. Every logistic has been provided for security agencies to tackle the insecurity”, he said.
He warned that any top Government Official caught in the process of trying to work for the release of arrested suspected cultist (gang member) and kidnapper, will face the full weight of the law.
The Governor directed council Chairmen to work with their respective Traditional Rulers, Community Development Committees and Youth Leaders to advance the course of peace. He also directed Council Chairmen to clear bushes along the East-West Road and other major highways of the State.
In his remarks, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel assured that the Security Agencies will fight to reduce crime to the barest minimum
He said that the Police will use the community policing strategy to involve community stakeholders in the peace process. He called on Rivers people to support the police with information to tackle cultism (gang violence), kidnapping and fake news.
Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja urged the Security Agencies to take Traditional Rulers into confidence as they carry out their responsibilities. He, however, decried the situation where security agencies divulge information passed to them by Traditional Rulers.
While saying that the Traditional Rulers will support the security agencies to fight insecurity, he regretted that Council Chairmen hardly consult Traditional Rulers on security matters.