Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has rejected in its entirety the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Bill recently passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly. It said that after careful examination, it discovered that the bill portends danger in the area of security, and therefore as a concerned party in the peace enterprise of Rivers State.
The party appealed to “elders, church leaders, stakeholders and the Federal Government to intervene and stop Governor Nyesom Wike from signing into law the contentions, contagious and diabolical bill.”
Rivers APC in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Chief (Dr.) Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, and circulated by his Media Consultant, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, lamented that, considering the bloodletting that accompanied the 2015 general elections without this type of legally approved militia group, should Wike assents to the bill only God knows the extent of mayhem that will visit the state.
“This sinister bill that authorises the Neighbourhood Watch (Wike’s private Army) to carry arms, enter, search and arrest citizens without warrants is mischievous, diabolical, evil, wicked and unacceptable.
“The party lamented that allowing Nyesom Wike to formally arm his militia would not only pose severe threat to the security of everybody in Rivers State including those urging him on this sinister plot but will make the audacity, evil, satanic, autocratic fascist regimes of Mobutu Sese Seko, Emperor Fidel Bokassa or legendary Idi Amin of Uganda look like saints.”
The party reminded the world in case they have forgotten that, “We are talking about Nyesom Wike who in 2014 ordered his militia group to attack and stone the Northern Governors that were on official visit to Rivers State. We are talking about Wike who ensured that then Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was so humiliated and embarrassed that on several occasions he was prevented from entering the Government House. We are talking about Wike who proudly influenced five members of Rivers State House of Assembly constituting 32 members to attempt to impeach then Rivers State Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amachree with Amaechi as a target.”
Rivers APC also noted: “We are talking about Wike who rode to power on the blood of hundreds of APC members being allowed to have a legally backed private army that will turn Rivers State into a hell and making Yemen, El Salvador, Burundi and Pakistan paradise on earth.”
The party expressed shock that “Governor Wike who claims that he has no money to award academic scholarships to our students or pay them their bursary entitlement, could not pay pensions or salaries of civil servants for over six months or employ any Rivers State indigene into any meaningful enterprise but could budget a whopping sum of twenty-two billion naira (N22B) on buying guns and ammunitions to arm our youths to kill themselves.
“This is not only wicked but exposes Wike’s shallow understanding of the principles of governance and his devilish intentions against our youths.”
The party reiterated that Wike has destroyed the future of the youths of Rivers State by destroying the educational sector of the State and denying them qualitative and functional education but prefers through initiation of the Neighbourhood Watch bill to turn our youths into crimes by arming them to kill and constitute themselves as nuisance to the state and the country at large.
The party commended the Inspector of General of Police for directing that civilians, vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch security groups, hunters should surrender their firearms with the licenses in 21 days as failure to comply would result in raids and clampdowns, followed by criminal prosecution for illegal possession of firearms.
According to Rivers APC, “In this regard, the party wants IGP Ibrahim Idris Kpotum to investigate the where about of the arms allegedly retrieved by the repented cultists and militants which was publicly exhibited at the Rivers State Government House by Governor Wike as we are afraid that some of the arms are been reserved to arm this contentious and contagious Neighbourhood Watch Corps.
“Finally, the Federal Government should by now know the security challenge that Wike poses and curtail this sinister plot before Rivers State is engulfed by the fire that Wike wants to ignite in Rivers State.
“The Federal Government should bear in mind that this particular bill violates the exclusivity of firearms to the Federal Government as is enshrined in the Constitution and that acquisition of guns, ammunitions, and explosives are within the Exclusive Legislative List of the Federal Government, as contained in the 1999 Constitution, as amended and save Rivers State from this sinister plot to destroy the state.
“It is our firm belief that this bill if assented by the Governor would do more harm than good to the already heated up polity.”