Ijaw communities under the auspices of the Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) have appealed to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to pay the companies he engaged as land and waterway surveillance contractors from 2018 to 2019.
MOSIEND National President Kennedy Tonjo West, in the group’s 2021 position paper presented in Port Harcourt at the weekend, recalled that the governor engaged the surveillance contractors but failed to pay them.
He urged the governor to fulfil the promise he made to reintegrate 22,000 cultists he granted amnesty in 2016, lamenting that their abandonment after demobilisation had led to increase in crimes.
He said: “We are appealing to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to pay off the companies he engaged as land and waterway surveillance in 2018 till 2019.
“About 22,000 youths he granted amnesty in 2016 were abandoned after demobilisation. MOSIEND would like to plead with Governor Wike to positively engage the 22,000 youth.
“We recall that after their disarmament, the youth were abandoned. MOSIEND believes that allowing the youth to undergo a reintegration programme will be a rational approach to successfully conclude that novel approach.”
West further enjoined Wike to show compassion on former employees of the disbanded TIMARIV by paying them their salary arrears.
“Our investigation shows that these employees are members of Governor Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who voted for the governor in his first and second tenure. It is only fair that the governor should feel the ordeal of these employees and treat them just as he treated the Sokoto market traders,” West said.
He challenged the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS), to give account of the 10-fighter gunboats it received from Governor Wike in 2016 to combat crimes along the waterways, saying the JTF had derailed from its terms of reference.
He said the Bayelsa sea routes were replete with criminal activities despite the presence of JTF’s operatives, adding that the group was discussing with Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State to reconstitute the Bayelsa volunteers to work with security agencies and fish out the criminals.
West called on the Southsouth governors to show seriousness in their discussions to form a regional security network to tackle security threats in the zone.
He said: “MOSIEND would like to see unfolding concrete steps in the ongoing discussions among the Southsouth governors concerning regional or state policing. The truth is that the Nigeria Police lacks the required manpower, logistics and facilities to contain the rising security situation in Nigeria.”