State broadcast by Governor Wike on further measures to enhance security in Rivers State [11/06/21]

My dear people of Rivers State

It is my pleasure, to thank you, once again, for supporting the measures we have put in place in response to the recent security challenges unleashed on the State by some criminals and misguided troublemakers who mistook our quiet disposition for weakness.

2. We are delighted and satisfied with the fact that the measures we have adopted have been quite helpful towards achieving our security objectives with the support of the security agencies.

3, The criminals are coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State is too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attack on targeted security posts and personnel.

4. By the grace of God, we have 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the State.

7. 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.

8. We understand the economic effect these additional measures have or may have had on some of our people and other residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas but the truth is that we are simply discharging our constitutional responsibility to advance our collective security with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.

9. 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.

10. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the statewide nighttime curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.

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11. But we shall not give in to any such pressure as the security of lives and property is more important for us to safeguard at all costs than the business or social interest of anyone else or group.

12. Let me therefore assure you that the existing curfew will not last one day beyond necessary and plead with all of us to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the State and our collective wellbeing.

13. We have also heard reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on illegal trading and parking on our roads, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.

14. Recall that the previous task force was disbanded on account of similar reports and we will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.

15. We wish to assure you therefore that severe action will be taken against anyone of them found to have acted beyond their powers or against the criminal laws of the country.

16. However, we wish to also appeal to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving on our streets.

17. The situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block my official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.

18. Our duty is to serve and advance your welfare and I am sure all of us are benefiting from the efforts of the task force to keep our streets and roads free from unnecessary traffic obstructions and risky behaviours.

19. Finally, the management of the State’s Waste Management Authority is hereby directed to clear the State of filthiness within one week from today or be disbanded without any further notice.

20. Once again, thank you all for your support, prayer and solidarity as we continue to do our best to deliver on our mandate to secure and serve the State with utmost dedication and advance the welfare and wellbeing of all residents.

21. Thank you and may God bless Rivers State.

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