Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that communities with prevalence of insecurity, cultism and kidnapping will no longer enjoy state government patronage.
Wike stated this when he addressed a special security meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said that the state government would dethrone traditional rulers in communities where cultism and kidnapping are encouraged.
The security meeting had in attendance, the state Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel; State 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 State Commander of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, M.L. Haruna.
Also in attendance were local government chairmen, traditional rulers, Community Development Committee (CDC) chairmen and all youth leaders in the state.
Governor Wike said: “All those local government areas, where there are no serious cases of cultism and kidnapping, the state government will give them more projects and attention.
“But local government areas where cultism and kidnapping have become entrenched, the state 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,” Wike declared.
The governor noted that all youth groups found to be involved in cultism will be dissolved by the state government.
He noted that under the current dispensation, the government and people of the state would take their fate in their hands by collectively addressing the security challenges and urged the stakeholders to work with security agencies to fight insecurity.
“Enough is enough. Nobody arrested by security agencies and cultism will see the light of the day. 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 said.
He warned that any top government official caught trying to work for the release of any 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, Community Development Committees 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.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Police, Belel, assured that the security agencies would fight to reduce crime to the barest minimum
He said that the police would 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.
Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers 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 the situation where security agencies divulged information passed to them by traditional rulers.
He regretted that council chairmen hardly consult traditional rulers on security matters, reiterating that the traditional rulers would support the security agencies to fight insecurity.