Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that communities with prevalence of insecurity, cultism and kidnapping would no longer enjoy government patronage.
He told a special security meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, that the state government would dethrone traditional rulers in communities where cultism and kidnapping are encouraged.
The security meeting had in attendance the Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel, Director of Department of State Services, Tosin Ajayi, Commander SOG 115, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commander E. O. E. Ebiowei, Commander NNS Pathfinder, Commodore S. J. Bura and Commander of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, M. L. Haruna. Also in attendance were local government chairmen, traditional rulers, community development committees (CDC) chairmen and youth leaders in the state.
Wike said: “All those local government areas where there is no serious cases of cultism and kidnapping, the state government will give them more projects and attention. But councils where cultism and kidnapping have become entrenched, the government will depart.
“For communities where cultism 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 any youth group found to be involved in cultism will be dissolved by the government.
He urged stakeholders to work with security agencies to fight insecurity.
“Enough is enough…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 assured.
He warned that any top government official caught in the process of trying to work for release of arrested suspected cultist and kidnapper, will face the full weight of the law.
The governor directed council chairmen to work with their respective traditional rulers, CDCs 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.
Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel assured that security agencies will fight to reduce crime to the barest minimum.
He said 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, kidnapping and fake news.
Council of Traditional Rulers Chairman 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 a 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.