I will no longer grant amnesty to cultists – Gov. Wike

I will no longer grant amnesty to cultists – Gov. Wike

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 9:59 am


Pictures 1 and 2: Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (2nd L) and Service Commanders during the submission of Arms surrendered by repentant criminals at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday  

Pictures 1 and 2: Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (2nd L) and Service Commanders during the submission of Arms surrendered by repentant criminals at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday


 
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the State Government will no longer grant amnesty to Cultists who turn in their arms because most them go back to crime after amnesty was granted.

He also disclosed that government will not permit the proliferation  of vigilante groups,  stating that youths interested in helping  to build the state’s security architecture should join the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. 

This is as Traditional Rulers of Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas submitted  arms retrieved from repentant  criminals  in the Area,  after a local amnesty programme.

Speaking  at a brief ceremony where he received the Ekpeye Traditional Rulers from Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday,  Governor Wike said that this decision became necessary  after OSPAC from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area started over stepping  their boundaries.

He said: “I am being very careful  about Vigilante Groups  in all the local Government Areas because  of what OSPAC is doing. They are now going beyond  their boundaries.

“We will  reintegrate  OSPAC  into the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.  Anyone  who wants to support  the security  structure,  should join the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.  We will  not approve Local Vigilante for different Local Government Areas”.

He said that some of the criminals may pretend to have repented,  only for them to renege after re-arming themselves.

Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government  will no longer  operate an amnesty programme,  since many of the criminals  reneged during the first exercise.

He said: “We granted amnesty in the past and some boys went back  to crime.  For now, we are doing what is called,  ‘Bending Over’. If they renege, the law will take its course.

“When the court binds you over, it will be difficult  for you to renege”.

While saying that the security agencies are determined to fight crime across  the state,  Governor Wike commended  the Traditional Rulers  of Ekpeye land and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly,  Ehie Edison for taking proactive action  to improve  security.

The Governor  said  the State  Government will reward the Divisional Police Officers  of Ahoada East and West and the Joint Task Force Commander in the area, Major Nwachukwu for their roles in promoting peace and security.

Earlier,  Eze Igbu Upkata, Dr. Felix  Otuwarikpo said Traditional Rulers from Ahoada East and West Local Government Areas worked with the security agencies to ensure that peace returned  to Ekpeye land.

He said that the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House  of Assembly,  RT Hon Ehie Edison  supported the peace process which included confidence building  and the return  of arms by repented  criminals.

He said that 113 Former Cultists have repented  and they turned in their arms. He noted that a cultist  known as VIP and his group will also surrender  on Friday.

Eze Igbu Upkata, Dr. Otuwarikpo urged the Rivers State Government  to take steps to ensure that the boys don’t  return  to their criminal ways. The Traditional  Ruler praised the Divisional Police Officers of Ahoada East and West and the JTF Commander for  their commitment  to peace  in the area.

He said that the Ekpeye Traditional Rulers  organised a local amnesty programme,  wherein all repentant criminals  were taken to the ancestral home of Ekpeye land  for  Traditional Oath taking.  He said anyone  who goes against  the oath will  face dire consequences.

Governor Wike and  the Service Commanders  later inspected  the arms surrendered by the repentant criminals.

Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Rt Hon Ehie Edison commended the peace initiative of Governor Wike.  He said Ekpeye people  appreciate  the developmental efforts of the Governor.

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