The Chairman of Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike, has advised members of cult groups and kidnappers operating in communities in the local government area to turn a new leaf and surrender their arms and ammunition to security agencies.
This is as he accused the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is an indigene of the area, of failing to attract any federal project to the state on the past three years.
Nwanosike, who spoke on Wednesday while addressing newsmen at Isiokpo, headquarters of the Ikwerre local government area, vowed to clear forests in the area of cult groups and kidnappers in the next two weeks.
He said, “The amnesty that was granted to criminals sometime ago was done in conjunction with security agencies and there were no monies attached to it. I was the Caretaker Committee Chairman then. Soon after, some of those people who were granted amnesty returned to crime and criminality.
“The criminals still have the opportunity to turn a new leaf and surrender their arms and ammunition to security agencies. Thank God we now have an Police Area Commander here. The Director of DSS is here and the JTF is here.
Let them surrender their arms and they will be taken care of. In the next two weeks, we will clear all of forests of these bandits so that our people can go back to their farms.”
The local government chairman explained that most of the cultists and kidnappers terrorizing communities in the area and Rivers State at large, were groomed during the administration of Amaechi as governor of the state.
Nwanosike further explained that he dissolved the leadership of the Community Development Committees (CDC) of the 14 communities in the area because of involvement of some of the chairmen in cultism.
He said, “How can you come to a community where you claim to be a CDC and people are going about with AK-47 rifles. We found out that majority of the CDC chairmen belong to Deygbam and Deywell. How can a community move forward with such persons.
“Community leaders were subjecting their selves to the rulership of the so-called Civilian Generals who terrorise our communities. How can a chief go to the house of a criminal for settlement of issues. You see these chiefs been flogged by these boys.
“We dissolved the CDCs in the presence of traditional rulers from this local government area, both First Class and Second Class traditional rulers. And they all supported our decision to sack them. We will conduct election into the CDC of the 14 communities in the state in the next 60 days.”