The Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazzau, representing President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday visited Rivers State to assess the security situation in the state following the killing of 21 persons returning home after the crossover night service in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Council and other killings across the state.
The President said the visit was to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the killings and called for partnership between the Federal and Rivers State Governments to tackle security challenges in the state, which he said is important to the nation’s economy.
He promised that the federal government would partner with the government to ensure adequate security of the state, saying: “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.”
While speaking with Dambazzau at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Nyesom Wike alleged an orchestrated plot to create the impression that the state is unsafe through the promotion of targeted cult killings.
Wike said the security agencies in the state know the cult kingpins terrorising flashpoints in the state, adding: “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, as you can never know the next victim.”He urged the security agencies and the federal government to deploy personnel to cult flashpoints in the state to forestall repeated attacks by cultists.
“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?” The governor also blamed oil multinationals, who award surveillance contracts to cultists, for the explosion of cultism in some communities.
He said equipped with funds from multinationals, cultists procure sophisticated weapons with which they terrorise communities and law-abiding persons.
Wike said that the state government has made several requests to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the deployment of special squads to tackle cultism and kidnapping, but the IGP has failed to grant the request, saying: “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.