By Simeon Nwakaudu
This has been one of the most challenging aspects of governance over the last three years. Despite the deliberate plots by the Federal Government to sabotage security in Rivers State, Governor Wike has continued to churn out innovations that have made the state one the most secured states of the Federation.
Through the provision of dedicated support, logistics and funding for the police, Governor Wike has made Rivers State secure, safe and peaceful. It is for this reason that Rivers State is now the destination choice for workshops, conferences, seminars, sporting events and religious activities.
Since 2015, Governor Wike has procured over 300 patrol vans for all security agencies, more than 50 armed personnel carriers, over 50 security gun boats and has restored the monthly security grants suspended by the Amaechi administration.
These investments have enhanced the operational efficiency of the security agencies. The administration has also invested in the construction of operational and residential buildings for the Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS and Police.
The State Amnesty Programme also reduced the level of cultism and kidnapping in different communities, making the state safer. When some cultists attempted to hold the state to ransom, Governor Wike was proactive as his decisive interventions led to the killing of Don Wanny and key members of his group.
The initial N200million bounty led to the tracking down of the killer who troubled the state for 8 years. The State Security Council also placed a N640million on 32 other cultists who were indicted for compromising state security. Since that decisive action, relative peace has returned to the Rivers State.
Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency
In a bid to improve the security of communities, Rivers State Governor, Nysom Ezenwo Wike, initiated the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.
The Neighbourhood Watch Corps Agency will support existing security agencies with intelligence and information for them to effectively fight crime and make the state safer.
Governor Wike sent an executive bill to the Rivers State House of Assembly, which was passed by the House after series of public hearing and consultation. The Rivers State Governor
gave his assent to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law No.8 of 2018.
The governor said that the Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps cannot work without the approval of security agencies who will profile all the operatives
The Governor also gave his assent to the Rivers State Secret Cult and Similar Activities (Prohibition) (Amendment) Law No.6 of 2018 and the Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) (Amendment) No.2 Law No.7 of 2018.
Giving his assent to the three laws passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the laws are necessary to enhance security across the state.
He said that Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps will support existing security agencies with intelligence and information for them to effectively fight crime and make the state safer.
He debunked claims by opposition elements that the State Government plans to use the Neighbourhood Watch to arm youths. The governor said that the corps is a replica of what is already in existence in Lagos State.
The Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency is already operational with the inauguration of the Boardof Directors by Governor Wike. The organisation has started the process of recruiting quality operatives for the agency.
Amongst the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency is a retired Army General, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police and a retired director of Department of State Services.
Those inaugurated as Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency include: Brigadier General Dick Ironabare –Chairman ,Chief Casca Ogosu –Member ,Mr Dennis Amachree -Member ,Prof Emenike Wami -Member,Anthony Uzo Ozurumba -Member ,Uche Mike Chukwuma – Director General,Mrs Victoria Chikeka — Member , Barrister Nma Omereji , Secretary/Legal Adviser.