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Wike: Opposition plans to float illegal vigilance groups

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Wike: Opposition plans to float illegal vigilance groups

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday alleged that some politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the opposition, were planning to float illegal vigilance groups so that the police would ban the proposed Neighbourhood Watch his administration was set to establish in the state.

 

This was as he pointed out that such illegal vigilance groups, if allowed, would clash with the authentic Neighbourhood Watch to be set up by his administration, and hence pave the way for the police to ban such security outfit.

 

However, Wike, who said that such political plots would fail as the State Neighbourhood Watch had come to stay, stressed that only a court of competent jurisdiction would stop it.

 

The governor, who spoke yesterday when an Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, Usman Abubakar, visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt, described the Neighbourhood Watch as a security organisation that to a large extent support security agencies with intelligence reports towards promoting security of the state.

 

He, however, warned against politicisation of security operations in the interest of the country’s stability, as the Neighbourhood Watch was fashioned in line with the operations of a similar agency set up in Lagos State to support security agencies.

 

He said: “In setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch, we adopted the template established in Lagos State. This is a replica of what is already in existence in Lagos State. We are setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch for intelligence gathering. Policemen and other security agencies cannot be everywhere and to this end, they require relevant support to maintain security across the state.”

 

Wike, who announced that the state government had already acquired six gunboats for the state Police Command for fighting criminals along the waterways across the state, also advised the INEC and the police to work towards a successful conduct of the 2019 general election in the country.

In this regard, the governor hinted that the police should not compromise or be used to indiscriminately arrest opponents of the ruling party ahead of the elections.

Meanwhile, in his response, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, informed the governor that the Command was fashioning out ways to reduce cultism, kidnapping and violent crimes and activities in the area.

Abubakar, therefore, appealed to stakeholders and people of the state to work with the police towards reducing crime rates ahead of the 2019 general elections, even as he called on all groups in the state to come to a round-table to work for peace, warning that the police will not tolerate lawlessness under any disguise.

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