By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
As part of strategy to preempt criminal attacks on Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the State.
The governor said criminals are already 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.
Governor Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast on Friday, disclosed that the State government has 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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Governor Wike said Government is not unmindful of the economic effect these measures will have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas. He, however stressed that government is merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers state will not last one day beyond necessary and plead with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the State and collective wellbeing of all.
“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. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Governor Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on illegal trading and parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government 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.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
On the filthy environment of the State,the Governor directed the Chief Felix Obuah,Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Authority, RIWAMA and also the immediate past state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to clear the State of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.