Governor of Rivers State, Mr Neysom Wike, has expressed his commitment and that of the people of the state to the corporate existence of the country. He also warned troublemakers to give the state a wide berth. He disclosed this in a broadcast to indigenes and residents of the state on Friday.
While expressing concerns over the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), particularly the possibility of attacks on non-indigene living in Rivers State, Mr Wike said the people of Rivers people fully subscribe to Nigeria’s corporate existence and its indivisibility.
“As a people, we shall continue to support the unity and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities and work towards actualizing our collective aspirations for a just, inclusive and progressive nation. Rivers State belongs to all those who live in it. We heartily welcome any Nigerian who wishes to reside here and go about with his or her lawful businesses,” he said.
He warned that his administration will not tolerate attacks by any group of other Nigerians living in Oyigbo or any other part of the state, adding that those seeking to cause trouble should avoid doing so in the state.
“Nobody should take our hospitality and peaceful disposition for weakness, as we are capable of dealing decisively with any situation that threatens the peace and serenity in the state,” he cautioned.
He called on the indigenes of the state to be vigilant and resist being used to foment trouble. Mr. Wike also advised residents of the state to report any suspicious conduct or movements in their areas to law enforcement agencies for immediate action.
While admitting that indigenes of the state may harbour misgivings about the country’s structural problems, he argued that dialogue, not violence, remains the best way to resolve contending political issues.
“We pray the federal government to initiate a meaningful national dialogue to peacefully resolve the structural challenges that are threatening Nigeria’s stability and progress. In the same vein, we urge the security agencies to exercise maximum restraint and conform to international rules of engagement and best practice while responding to provocative acts from ill-advised groups,” said the governor.
He alleged that operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State are sabotaging the government’s security architecture.
“Since assumption of office a little over two years ago, we have done as much as we can within the limits of available resources to ensure that our dear state is secure, safe, and peaceful for residents and visitors alike.This we have done by providing tremendous moral, material, and financial support, including patrol vans, gun boats, and armored personnel carriers to the security agencies to fight crime and maintain peace in the state.
Indeed, no other state government has provided as much logistical support to the security agencies as the Rivers State government,” he boasted.
Despite these, he claimed, operatives of the Rivers State SARS have continued to compromise security in the state. For months, he explained, the state government has been receiving reports from victims, who have been robbed by SARS operatives under the guise of conducting searches on the victims.
“They employ several malevolent methods, including planting illicit drugs on their unsuspecting victims as a bargaining chip or forcefully taking them to ATM boots to collect a specified amount of money as ransom for their freedom. Furthermore, while the noticeable increase of kidnapping incidents along the East-West Road and the Owerri-Port Harcourt Road are worrisome, some of the rescued victims have reportedly pointed SARS operatives as the ones responsible for most of the kidnappings along those roads,” Mr Wike claimed.
He called for an investigation into the allegations to establish the truth about them. He alleged that a SARS operative was recently killed during his involvement in a kidnap operation as a member of the Inspector-General of Police’s Special Squad. The incident, he said, lends credence to SARS’ direct involvement in criminal activities across the state.
He called on the people of the state to be vigilant and protect themselves from SARS operatives in Rivers State. The governor also said his administration is willing to work together with the security agencies and the police to ensure the safety and security of lives of Rivers State residents.
Source: Sahara reporter