– And reactions to the controversial Rivers Neighbourhood Watch Corps
By Codratus Godson & David Ejiohuo
The Membership of the Board is as follows:
- Brigadier General Dick Ironabare –Chairman
- Chief Casca Ogosu –Member
- Mr Dennis Amachree -Member
- Prof Emenike Wami -Member
- Anthony Uzo Ozurumba -Member
- Uche Mike Chukwuma – Director General
- Mrs Victoria Chikeka — Member.
- Barrister Nma Omereji
Gov Wike has stated that he will propose an amendment to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency if the police goes ahead to reject the recruitment of certain operatives of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency on the basis of petitions by opposition elements in the state.
The governor said that the amendment will only be proposed when the police toes a partisan line in her consideration of the vetting of recruited operatives of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.
Xxx He directed all local government areas in the state to build office accommodation for the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.
The governor said that in the interim, the councils should provide office spaces for the neighbourhood safety corps agency, pending the construction of their offices.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has inaugurated the Board of Directors of the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, with a charge to the members to kick-start the process of recruiting quality operatives for the agency.
Performing the inauguration on Monday at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said there is no going back on the establishment of the agency because it is central to the security of the state.
He said: “Use your experiences and capabilities to ensure that the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency takes off effectively.
“Start the recruitment process of the operatives. By September, 2018, I expect that the training of operatives would have been concluded and the agency fully operational”.
He charged members of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency not to be swayed by the antics of opponents of the establishment of the agency because their duty is vital to the stability of the state.
The governor alerted the nation that some politicians have approached the police to sabotage the scheme by rejecting operatives recruited by the agency.
He said that the State Executive Council will approach will approach the Rivers State House of Assembly for the amendment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency law, so that the Police will not be required to vet the recruited operatives as is obtainable in Lagos State.
The governor advised the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency to recruit only persons that have the interest of the state at heart.
He said contrary to criticisms against the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, they are only to bear light arms subject to the approval of the Police. He said that the light arms to be borne by the agency’s operatives would be for self defence.
“The Chairman of the Board is a retired Brigadier General, while the Director General is a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police. We have appointed credible and experienced retired security chiefs because we want the best for the state.
‘Now that we have prevailing peace in the state, all efforts should be geared towards sustaining it”, he said.
Responding, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, Brigadier General Dick Ironabare, assured the government and people of the state that the agency will work to enhance state-wide security.
He commended the Rivers State Governor for deeming it necessary to set up the new security scheme, which is in line with international best practices of securing communities.
The Chairman said that the agency will work within the ambit of the law in the discharge of her duties. He said most of the people opposed to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency do so because they don’t understand its relevance in modern day security framework.
He commended Governor Wike for the support rendered to security agencies across the state as well as the promulgation of stringent laws to check kidnapping and cultism.