Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration would go ahead with the establishment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps, despite the opposition’s stand against the initiative because it would enhance security and peace across the state. The governor, who stated this while addressing the state’s chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Ex-Councilors’ Forum, after their solidarity march to the Government House, Port Harcourt, however, noted that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would go a long way in helping to strengthen the state’s security infrastructure in the interest of the people of the state. Wike, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chukwuemeka Woke, pointed out that the setting up of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps followed established due process of the law.
The governor also noted that his administration would sustain its support for security agencies, saying: “By Monday, we shall inaugurate the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps and Agency. The security agency has come to stay. No amount of intimidation will stop us from moving ahead. We will continue to develop the security infrastructure that will protect our people. We will also sustain our support for security agencies.” Meanwhile, Governor Wike at the weekend gave the Nigerian media a wakeup call to live up to their responsibility of being the mouthpiece of the poor and watchdog of the society.
This was even as he said that without a free press, the country and its people would be denied the fruits of democracy. The governor, who spoke at Port Harcourt at the weekend while receiving a delegation of the Media and Publicity Committee of the IPI 2018 Congress, expressed delight that the IPI congress would hold in Nigeria at a period the nation is planning for another transition.
The IPI congress delegation was in the state as part of its advocacy visit to critical stakeholders to mobilise support for the successful hosting of the congress, scheduled for Abuja in June. Wike added: “We’re happy this is happening while we are trying to have another transition. Press freedom can only happen when we have democracy and rule of law. We are happy the press will let Nigerians and the world know the way the Federal Government is fighting corruption by targeting the opposition.
“The press should wake up. It should be the spokesman for the poor. The press must speak out and defend the poor and the vulnerable.” The governor, who expressed regrets that the Federal Government by its conduct, had portrayed Nigeria as a country not ready to have enduring democracy, even as he also accused the Independent Electoral Commission INEC) of insincerity in conducting free and fair polls in 2019.
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