Tackling security challenges in Rivers State

 

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The primary purpose of government all over the world is to secure lives and property and provide the good things of life.

The Nigerian constitution describes it as the provision of security and welfare of the people.

Right from the days of ancient philosophers like Aristotle, Plato to great modern thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke down to the contemporary of John Stuart Mill, John Dewey, Harold Laski among others were unanimous as a matter of imperative that the protection of human lives and property remain the cardinal objective of the purpose of the state.

This underscores the reason making security of lives and property the fundamental barometer in measuring the performance index of any government. It is in line with this spirit that serious minded governments do not hesitate towards investing huge resources ensuring citizens enjoy maximum peace and security with their two eyes closed without any nightmare by men of the underworld.

In recent times, Nigeria has been bedeviled by one security challenge or the other.

From the North to the South, Nigerians have been griped with the fear of insecurity; ranging from activities of Boko Haram, heinous robbery, kidnapping, fratricidal communal inspired programs to mindless killings by acts of terrorism.

These activities have taken an unquantifiable toll on the nation’s economy with thousands of lives and property wasted for no reasons.

In Rivers State, the recent killing of about 17 innocent men and women who were massacred in their cold blood on the crossover night of 2018, while returning from their spiritual duty to God was a sad one and one death too many.

Viewing Governor Nyesome Wike on the Television who betrayed his emotions with tears in his eyes streaming down; one could not hold back the tears of empathy.

Governor Wike’s sense of humanity was obvious as he did not waste time to place a ransome of N200 million.

While contending with the theatre of killings in Omoku, the news of massacre by suspected herdsmen in Benue state was broken where many homes were wiped out.

In Benue State, politicizing the issue of security was out of the question as the people rally round Governor Orthom to seek solution rather than accusing him as the mastermind of the problem.

In Rivers State, it is unfortunate and sad to mention that the narratives took a different twist as Governor Nyesome Wike and his ruling party became the focal point of accusation over the killings at Omoku.

The social media was awashed with reports of accusation without any single proof of evidence.

This is a sore moment in the history of Nigeria. No same person no matter the political affiliation should ever imagine or contemplate on making a political capital out of a security to malign an elected government charged with the solemn responsibility to protect lives and property.

We thank God governor Wike refused to be distracted by such petty allegations which is borne out of scoring cheap and mischievous political agenda.

Governor Nyesome Wike promised the people of Rivers State that he would leave no stone unturned to work closely with the security agents in bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book by providing necessary logistics as chief security officer of the state.

Reassuring as the promise was, barely a week later, the kingpin and mastermind of the New Year killing at Omoku Mr. Don Wanney was tracked down and killed in Enugu State.

As swiftly as the result was in tracking down Don Wanney, lips of critics of the Wike administration were completely sealed up.

The political will shown by governor Wike is a clear demonstration that he is fully committed to the security of lives and property of the Rivers people.

This is where those who are fanning the embers of disaffection in Rivers State by resorting to such wild allegations against Mr. Wike should have a rethink and tender unreserved apology to the people of Rivers State.

The issue of security all over the world is a national concern regardless of the individual or group political leaning. It was ridiculous for an individual or group of persons to reduce it to politics.

When people embark on demarketing Rivers State, Port-Harcourt the capital known as the “Garden City” will ultimately be the loser as investments flowing into the state to provide employment opportunities may be moved to peaceful states.

Therefore, it was a sheer act of wickedness and politics of bitterness to link Mr. Wike to the atrocities committed by certified gang of criminals.

Governor Wike is not only trying his best to complete abandoned projects or projects he inherited from his predecessors but has also turned Rivers State to a huge construction site.

A trip to parts of Rivers State will convince anyone that cares to visit that the governor deserves the appellation, “MR PROJECT” where life transforming projects like massive road constructions to link up rural communities are dotted all over the landscape of the state, much less of owing of workers.

Not minding the political affiliation, APC governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State made a glowing commendation to Governor Nyesome Wike during a visit to the state. This was followed by another visit by the Minister of Sports and Chieftain of APC Mr. Solomon Dalung, who flung party difference aside and commended MR PROJECT for changing the development narratives in Rivers State.

This underscores the fact that the Security and pace of development in Rivers State can only be sustained in an atmosphere of unity of purpose, devoid of political mischief and unnecessary rancour.

Only last year, as part of strategy in tackling the security concern in Rivers state, the Wike administration designed an action-packed programme of amnesty for repentant cultists.

The programme which revolved around the carrot and stick approach was deliberately put in place towards nipping the problem of violence enrime in the bud.

This is where all men and women of Rivers state including Multinational companies operating in the state should as a matter of imperative rally round the governor in the drive to provide peace and security for the overall sustainable development of Rivers State and Nigeria in general.

The recent report that oil companies are fueling security crisis in Rivers State is a sad commentary and a huge setback for Rivers people, while they are yet to recover from the shameful and heartless divide and rule role some of these multinational companies played in the Niger Delta leading to the judicial murder of the foremost environmentalist, Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The direct allegation made by the chief security officer and governor of Rivers State about the complicity of oil companies a weighty one that cannot just be swept under the carpet, given the antecedents of these oil companies in the Deltaic region.

This is counterproductive to the campaign agenda of president Buhari on the fight against insecurity in the country.

What the time demands is for Rivers men and women, youths, clergy men and women, to close rank and come together to confront the common monster that wants to turn back the ticking clock of development in the state.

They can do this by working hand-in-hand with the security agencies by intensifying efforts in intelligence gathering and report any sinister activities that tend to undermine peace and security in the state. They should appreciate the fact that the business of maintaining peace and security is a collective responsibility and not governor Wike alone.

Hence, they must shun destructive allegations and blackmail which are ill-wind that will do no one any good towards the building of a united, secured, peaceful and prosperous Rivers State.

On the part of Governor Nyesome Wike, he should remain accommodative with the spirit of equanimity in the drive to take Rivers State to the next level.

The security, peace and development of Rivers State should be seen by all as a collective task that must be done.

Original post by http://thenationonlineng.net/tackling-security-challenges-rivers-state/

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Nwilo

Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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