From Chris Anucha, Port Harcourt
RIVERS State governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday led security men to demolish alleged cultists /kidnappers’ hideouts in the state. This is part of the anti-cultism war currently going in the state, which is aimed at routing kidnapping and cultism, which have portrayed the state in a bad light. The governor had, on Monday, June 27, 2016, led security agents, headed by Lieutenant Colonel AC Unaogu, to some cultists’ hideouts, and directed the immediate demolition of a house in Rumuolumini community, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, belonging to one Munachim Ihunwo.
He had alleged that the demolished building was acquired through crime, adding that his administration had zero tolerance for kidnapping and cultism.
The governor also said that the demolition of the building was in line with the anti-kidnapping and cultism law, pointing out that it was also part of his efforts to rid the state of cultists and kidnappers.
Yesterday’s operation also saw the governor and the new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, supervising the demolition of two “deadly cultists and kidnappers’ camps”, at the Eagle Island, a Port Harcourt suburb. One of the camps was located behind the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in the area, while the second one was known as Andoni camp.
Like in the case of the demolished building at the Rumuolumini, Governor Wike said a police station would be built at the site of the cultists’ camp behind the RCCG, while a community hospital would be constructed at the site of the demolished Andoni camp.
Addressing journalists after the operation, Wike said all cultists’ hideouts in the area would be demolished to restore peace in the state. According to him, the war against cultists and kidnappers would be sustained. He, however, appealed to the residents to always avail the security agencies of necessary information that would help them in cracking down suspected criminals in the state.
He said: “There will be no hideouts in the state. This war against cultists and kidnappers will be sustained. We are happy about the results we are getting.”
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police said many suspected cultists and kidnappers were arrested during the operation.
The Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Law Number 3 of 2009, as amended by the current Rivers State House of Assembly, and assented to by the governor provides for additional penalties, including confiscation of assets got from kidnapping, cultism and other related crimes.