27th January, 2016
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Following rising cases of kidnappings and other violent crimes in his community, the Paramount ruler of Rumuekpe community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, HRH Philip Enyinda has given a-seven day ultimatum to illegally armed youths to voluntarily surrender their arms or face the consequences.
Chief Enyinda, who gave the ultimatum while addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, decried the proliferation of arms in the hands of the youths who have resorted to kidnappings.
The effect of the proliferation of illegal arms in the hands of hoodlums could be felt due to the frequent kidnappings along the Rumuekpe-Buguma road.
Rumuekpe, which is an oil production community, witnessed very bitter and bloody past caused by civil strife when over 200 members of the community were slaughtered between 2004 and 2012 during the internal crises.
Although Rumuekpe is an oil bearing community not much visible development can be seen there.
The high rate of kidnappings and robberies along the Rumuekpe-Buguma road in the last few months became so frequent that Governor Nyesom Wike had to give the Caretaker Committee Chairmen of Emohua, Asari-Toru local government council area marching orders to collaborate with security agencies and stamp out kidnappings, robberies and other vices in the area.
It was learnt that the renewed vigour by traditional rulers to call on armed youths to lay down their arms stemmed from a recent meeting held between the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, led by Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the Acting Managing Director, and monarchs in the region.
At the meeting, traditional rulers were informed about the plans and policies of the Federal Government to ensure that life and properties of citizens of the Niger Delta are protected.
The monarchs were told to fully assume their role as agents of peace in various domains by persuading the youths to lay down their arms for development to take place and for free and fair incoming rerun election ordered by the Court of Appeal for both the National and State House of Assembly.