TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that the establishment of state police will go a long way in resolving the current security challenges facing the country.
Governor Wike said the present security structure has made it difficult for the federal police to respond quickly to security challenges.
He spoke when he granted audience to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Ms. Callamard Agnes, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said: “We believe that there should be State Police for us to effectively fight crime in the country. Our system is fashioned towards the United States, which has federal, state and local police. Each of them has their responsibilities.
“In the present situation, if a crime is committed, the Commissioner of Police will first report to the Inspector General of Police, before taking any action.”
Governor Wike told the United Nations delegation that the state government established the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency to support security agencies with information, but the agency was frustrated for political reasons.
He said: “We established the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency which would have helped the security agencies with Information. But, it was politicised by the Federal government when they sent the Nigerian Army to ensure that it did not come to fruition.
“If the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency was allowed, probably we would have solved part of the security problems.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said that if the amended Electoral Act had assented to by the President, electoral violence would have been reduced to the barest minimum, as there wouldn’t have been any incentive to snatch materials and manipulate the electoral process.
He berated the Nigerian Army for perpetuating violence during the 2019 general elections in Rivers.
He said the negative actions of the Army were such that several embassies were shocked.
Governor Wike reiterated the commitment of the state government to the fight against cultism.
He said that the state government had initiated an anti-cultism law, which would be diligently implemented.
He said that working with security agencies, the state government had intervened in the cult clashes in Ogoniland.
He stated that several arrests had been made in Khana Local Government Area, where some cult groups dislodged some communities.
Earlier, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Ms. Agnes, said that she was interested in documenting the nature and extent of killings by state and non-state actors.
She said: “I am interested in how the Federal and state governments respond to the challenges of violence by state and non-state actors.
“I would be grateful if you would share with us, information on killings by the state and non-state actors.”