25th May, 2012
The Rivers State Chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, says the increasing number of thugs on roads and streets in Port Harcourt, masquerading in the name of task forces created by the Rivers State government are worrisome.
The ACN in a statement signed by Jerry Needam, publicity secretary, on behalf of the party condemned the proliferation of task forces in all manner of uniforms on roads and streets in Port Harcourt.
Jerry Needam said the development gives emphasis to the earlier position of the ACN that the present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government is deficient in ideas to keep an eye on a state like Rivers.
The party said the proliferation of task forces by all ministries and parastatals of government, commissions and agencies of Rivers State government portray the state as lawless, and exposes the leadership as lacking in ideas and in a state of bewilderment.
The party calls on the Rivers State House of Assembly as part of their oversight functions to standardise the activities and number of task forces in Port Harcourt.
The call, according to the ACN, has become necessary l following the embarrassment the activities of these thugs in different uniforms have caused innocent indigenes, visitors and investors who come to boost the economic fortunes the state.
Their activities, the party said, are dragging the good name of Rivers State into public ridicule as a result of their harassment, intimidation, killings, beating, maiming and stealing of personal effects of innocent road users.
Needam said if the activities of these thugs in the name of government task forces are allowed to continue it could turn the state into a battle ground and a criminal outlet devoid of check.
He added that Rivers State will be the greatest loser and called on the governor and the state House of Assembly to act swiftly to redress the situation.
The ACN accused the PDP of deploying thugs and cultists they employed to rig the last general elections in their support to the streets and roads in the state, in the name of task forces, following the inability of government to provide jobs for them.
—Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt