Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike says that the commercialisation of kidnapping in Nigeria has made it almost impossible to stop the menace.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by Rotary District Governor 9141 Nigeria at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said since kidnapping is now a criminal enterprise, it could only be reduced to the barest minimum.
“It is now impossible to stop kidnapping in Nigeria. It is now a business. It has been commercialised,” the Governor said.
“It is now a major business. Everyone must partner with the government to ensure that we reduce it to the barest minimum. But it cannot be totally eradicated.”
He said that those involved in kidnapping from security reports ranged from 16 to 22 years.
“Look at what is happening across the country. Kidnapping has taken over all states. When it started here, it was politicised.
“But today, it is negatively affecting all states of the federation. A few days ago, a Court of Appeal judge was kidnapped in Benin. Before that, a Federal High Court judge was kidnapped. All of us must work together to stop this scourge,” he said.
The Governor called on Rotary Nigeria to embark on enlightenment programmes to ensure that young people are educated on the dangers of cultism and kidnapping.
He urged everyone to be conscious of their environment and take measures to secure themselves, since kidnappers use close workers, family members and associates as informants.
Wike commended Rotary Nigeria for their contributions to the development of Rivers State.
He assured that the state government will continue to partner with them to achieve development goals.
He noted that the Rivers government will continue to invest in the security of lives and property, health, education as well as vital social services.
Earlier, District Governor of Rotary International District 9141, Nze Anizor, described Governor Wike as a rare leader who has contributed to the development of the state.
He congratulated the Governor on his re-election, saying that it was an opportunity for the him to do more for the people of Rivers.
He disclosed that the Rotary International District 9141 invested about N300 million into several humanitarian projects in the state every year.
“Rotary is more inclined to service, rather than complaints. Rotary International is a great partner of government towards development,” he said.
He noted that the group has imported equipment worth N30 million for the safe transfusion of blood.
The district governor lauded Governor Wike for his investment in the construction of Mother and Child Hospital in Port Harcourt.