From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempts by them to undermine the security of the state.
He noted that the criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State is too hot for them to invade at will and carry out their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike who made this assertion in a state broadcast yesterday, disclosed that the his administration had identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
He said: “This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West road, to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West road having discovered these places also act as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme-Onne axis of the East-West road to vacate the area within two weeks from today, 11th June, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
He added that government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas. He explained that, this notwithstanding, government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all. He warned: “We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized.