The Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd), yesterday visited Rivers State at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to assess the security situation in the state, following the killing of over 17 Christian worshippers on New Year Day at Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of the state.
Speaking during the visit to Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, at goveyrnment House, Port Harcourt, Danbazzau, said the federal government wants to partner with the Rivers State government to tackle security challenges in the state.
The minister, on behalf of Buhari, commiserated with the government and people of Rivers State over the killings at Omoku.
He said, “Rivers State is important to the country, particularly when it comes to the issue of the economy. It is very important that the federal government partners with the state to see how any security gaps can be closed for adequate protection of lives and property.”
Responding, Governor Wike, said there is an orchestrated plot to create the impression that the state is unsafe through the promotion of targeted cult killings, pointing out that the security agencies in the state know the cult kingpins terrorising flashpoints in the state.
Wike said, “The security agencies have the profiles of all cult kingpins in different parts of the state and they know their locations. There is no wisdom in the politicisation of security. Insecurity can affect anybody. You can never know the next victim of insecurity.
The governor urged the security agencies and the federal government to deploy personnel to cult flashpoints in the state to forestall repeated attacks by suspected cultists.
He said, “In every system, the security agencies know the flashpoints. Here we requested for the strengthening of security around these flashpoints, especially areas with high prevalence of cultists. I expected that security would be beefed up in these places.
“I ask this question. Is there an orchestrated plan to tag Rivers State as unsafe? Is the situation above the security agencies despite the information we have made available to them?”
Wike also blamed oil multinationals for the explosion of cultism in some communities, pointing out that the multinationals award surveillance contracts to cultists.
The governor said equipped with funds from multinationals, cultists procure sophisticated weapons with which they terrorise communities and law-abiding persons.
He stated that the state government has made several requests to the Inspector-General of Police for the deployment of special squads to tackle cultism and kidnapping, adding that the Inspector General of Police has failed to deploy the special squads to the state, despite the requests.
Wike said, “The peculiar nature of Rivers State requires peculiar intervention. Before now, I have been shouting that we need support to fight crime. I have made this complaint severally.”
The governor berated politicians who want to use the cult-related killings to play politics and make false allegations against the state.
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