Call a meeting of South South stakeholders now – APC
The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State says Governors of the South South should summon an urgent meeting to address growing threats to the security of the region.
The APC said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt signed by its Spokesman, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, that the call has become necessary in order to avert the destabilisation of the oil bearing region by external forces.
The party said that attacks in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states have shown that unless something urgent is done to involve stakeholders and engage them on how to tackle early challenges, the entire region could be placed under threat.
A hit squad had left a trail of blood and dead bodies along the East West Road.
The Rivers State Police Command through its Spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, SP, confirmed the incident, saying it was already on the trail of the fleeing killers.
Omoni admitted that two policemen were killed at Rumuji; two at the C-4-I checkpoint after the Choba Bridge; and three at Elimgbu.
The APC noted that while it hoped the Rivers State Government and security operatives would ensure the safety of the people, it was imperative for the governors of South South states to gather stakeholders in the region for a meeting.
“A stitch in time they say saves nine. It is our hope that the Governors of the South South would call a broad based meeting of stakeholders in the region to address threats to South South security.
“It is urgent; it is needful; and we think that the time to gather South South people to find solutions to attacks from outside is now.”
The APC observed, “This is the third time that an attack would be carried out on Rivers soil by persons whose identities are unknown. As we speak, at least 21 security operatives have been killed since the attacks began.
“Once again, our sympathy is with the families of those who have been murdered by agents of a faceless group that is intent on destabilizing our dear State.
“While we pray for the repose of their souls, we also pray that the Good Lord would grant the families they left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The APC observed that the terror attacks in the State were beginning to frighten law abiding citizens who are scared by the violence occuring around them.
“We are however worried that those who may be behind these plots are beginning to create fear among our people. These people, whoever they are, are gradually expanding the frontiers of terror.
“The APC believes that the occurrence of these incidents should serve as a wake up call among Rivers people and all other peace loving persons who are resident in our State.
“We urge Rivers people to be vigilant and appeal to those who want to turn Rivers State into a battleground to desist.
“On the whole, the security agencies need the support of the people. They need valuable information in order to combat terror.
“The security agents have this time rallied to fight back. Two persons believed to be part of the hit squad that attacked formations in Rivers State are reported to have lost their live, going by the official account released by the police.
“The APC wishes to reiterate that what is happening goes beyond party lines, beyond politics. The foundation upon which our peace and security as a people is anchoed is being threatened.
“While we hope that the Rivers State Government and the security agencies will live up to their obligations in terms of protecting the people as well as institutions of State, we appeal to all law abiding citizens to support the authorities through information sharing.”
Governor Wike has in the meantime visited the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Friday Iboka and expressed his condolences.
He said the government was pained by the death of police and said about N100 million would be released to the families of those who have died.
The Governor admonished the police to go into the offensive against gangster groups and ensure that those disturbing the peace are arrested and brought to book.
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