Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on Traditional Rulers to work with the State and Local Government Areas to improve security across the state in order to fast track the development process.
Governor Wike also declared that the Rivers State Government will formally launch the new security architecture of the on Friday, July 26, 2019.
He spoke on Tuesday in Port Harcourt when he declared open the 110 and 111 quarterly general meeting of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council.
He said: ‘I wish to reiterate that our traditional rulers bear enormous moral and legal responsibilities to work with the Local and State Governments to secure the State and fast-tract development and progress to their communities.
“It bears repeating that you have no moral claim to your traditional titles, authority and reverence if you cannot guide, mentor, persuade and prevail on your youths to shun all forms of criminality and take your communities to an enviable heights of peace and socio-economic transformation under your reign”.
Governor Wike urged the Traditional Rulers to take concrete actions towards improving security in their communities. He said the criminal elements disturbing security and peaceful existence of the state live in communities and can be fished out with strong local intelligence and commitment.
“I wish to again assure you all that Rivers State is in safe hands under our guide and we will continue to do our best to protect its political interests, grow the economy and advance its development and progress more than ever until our very last day in office.
“What we need from you is to mobilize your subjects and communities for development and partner with the State Government to enable our youths to realize their full potential and self-actualization as responsible citizens”, he said.
He thanked the Traditional Rulers who stood by his Administration with courage during the most trying period to resist and frustrate the evil plan by the enemies of Rivers people to install their puppets in power and again subject the state’s common resources to mindless plunder.
He said: “I assure you with all confidence that they have been defeated and by God’s grace, they will remain defeated and subdued forever as nothing would come out of the cases they are currently sponsoring at the Election Petition Tribunal against us, which are all bound to woefully collapse like a pack of cards.
” As you all know, in the last four years we paid special and deliberate focus on bridging the gap on infrastructure, especially roads, education and healthcare delivery. As a result, many roads, educational and healthcare projects have been delivered, and many more are at their last completion stages and due to be commissioned in the first 100 days of our second term in office”.
Commenting on OML 25 , Governor Wike said he supports the development of local companies, but noted that the right thing must be done at all times. He said if the Federal Government had given the company owned by a Rivers son the license for OML 25, the State Government would have supported him totally.
“If the Federal Government had given our son the license for OML 25, I would have been happy. But the Federal Government gave the license to Shell. Now people were hired people and they stopped operations for two years.
“Government called the Amanyanabo of Kula and others for a meeting , preached peace . Simply because of Kobo, the man changed his position. Is that the kind of person you want the State Government to give Staff of Office? A Traditional Ruler that will come before the Government and sign an agreement and then go back to say that he is withdrawing his signature “, he said.
In his address, the Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja urged Governor Wike to make Traditional Rulers part of the new security architecture of the state.
He said: “Traditional Rulers appreciate all the efforts you are making at curbing crime in our State and are prepared to participate in all these efforts by the State Government to stem the tide of insecurity in the state. We therefore implore you to make use of capable members of the Council in the planned security architecture of Government “.
He described as unfortunate the situation where some Traditional Rulers have been indicted for aiding the perpetration of crime in parts of the state. He urged the Rivers State Government to treat the matter on a case to case basis. He thanked the Governor for applying restraint when meting out punishment to Traditional Rulers in whose domain criminal gangs operate.
King Douglas Dandeson Jaja commended Governor Wike for entrenching development in the State, saying that with his inaugural speech, it is obvious that his second term will lead to more projects across the state .
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor,
23 July, 2019.