Tuesday, June 16, 2020 12:18 am
Ahoada-West Local Council, on Monday alerted the Rivers and Federal Governments and the entire public on the movement of unidentifiable persons and unauthorised gunmen into into Rivers.
Mr Hope Ikiriko, Executive Chairman of the LGA, who disclosed this during a news briefing at the council Secretariat, Akinima, said that such persons entered through Mbiama, a border community.
Ikiriko said the Rivers COVID-19 Taskforce and security agents had intercepted no fewer than 160 persons at Mbiama, a boarder community in the local government area.
He stated that majority of the people were in their mid 20s coming from the northern part of Nigeria and were intercepted between May 3 and June 14.
According to Ikiriko, movement of unknown and unauthorised gunmen were seen in the uniform inscribed NATFORCE moving into Rivers.
He claimed that some of the young men forcefully took possession of the LGA’s District Office premises at Okogbe and attracted some cattle rearers who dwell in the environment with their cows.
“The influx of this disorderly unidentified young men without fixed destination into the LGA boosted the rate of kidnapping around the Mbiama axis of the East/West road,” Ikiriko said.
He said the situation led to the resurgence of deadly cultists masquerading as members of MASSOB in the area.
He added that with the swift operation of the Joint Taskforce, comprising the police and other security agents with the collaboration of community leaders, some of the kidnappers and cultists were accordingly apprehended.
Ikiriko stated that the alert was an obligation to inform the general public, the state and federal governments accordingly as the saying goes, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.
He said that there were other youth still being intercepted while entering the state who were not on essential duty or supplying agricultural produce.
“So, as we are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with boarder lockdown across the federation, we don’t understand the mission of these people.
“When they are intercepted, we profile them and send them to the Rivers COVID-19 Mobile Court where they are ordered to return to where they are coming from,” he added.