With the current security landscape in Rivers State -assassinations, kidnapping, rape, extortion, armed robbery and murder- being carried out virtually on a daily basis, the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike is fashioning out a new security architecture for the 52 years old big oil and gas state.
Matters get worse in the state when it is election season because security personnel compromise easily and criminal activities significantly worsen. The level of politically related killings were alarming
Politics in Rivers is a do or die affair because most of the politicians are vying for power over the oil resource of the state which has one of the highest oil revenue in the country. Political wrangling encourages the use of political thugs and the use of violence to gain power.
A report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009 said ‘’Rivers is saturated with cults and cultism. The government itself acknowledged the existence of 100 cults; we listed additional 16 cults’’.
So, the presence of heavily armed militia groups across the state is not new to the security agencies.
However, security architecture is a unified security design that addresses the necessities and potential risks involved in a certain scenario or environment. It also specifies when and where to apply security controls. In security architecture therefore, the design principles are reported clearly, and in-depth security control specifications are generally documented in independent documents.
Insiders say system architecture can be considered a design that includes a structure and addresses the connection between the components of that structure.
Apparently unsettled by the security landscape in the big oil state, Governor Wike has announced that the state government will soon initiate a comprehensive security architecture that will improve peace in all parts of the state.
Wike who spoke on Monday during a meeting with chiefs and security officials from Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas at the Government House, Port Harcourt, also declared that his administration will continue to encourage security operatives who support the state government to fight crime in different communities.
According to him, ‘’very soon, we will roll out a comprehensive security architecture for the state to improve security in all communities. The state government is committed to encouraging security operatives who assist us in improving security in our communities. Today, we are honouring the Area Commander of Ahoada East and West and the JTF Commander of Ahoada.
‘’They have placed their lives on the line to defend our people. It is not easy. Now that they are alive, it is for us to appreciate them. This will encourage others to serve the state. These officers have shown that they are prepared to defend the state and fight.’’
On the decision by Ekpeye Youths to turn a new leaf and surrender their arms and embrace peace, the governor directed the Police to bind over the youths so that they don’t return to crime, regretting that criminal activities have negatively affected the development of Ekpeye Kingdom.
‘’If you have volunteered to embrace peace and drop your arms, the state government will support you. Nobody will arrest you. If the Police bind you over, government will rehabilitate you. I want peace in all communities of the state because government cannot execute projects where there is no peace’’, he said.
While Wike assured Ekpeye people that his administration will develop platforms that will encourage oil companies to employ the youths of host communities, the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Ehie Edison, urged him to forgive the youths and encourage them on the path of peace.
‘’We are aware of your selfless efforts to ensure that peace returns to Rivers. It will be insensitive for us not to take the lead and support you in Ekpeye land’’, Edison said, adding that the least that Ekpeye leaders can do is to create the right environment for peace to return to the area and appealed to Governor Wike to give Ekpeye leaders two weeks to mop up arms in the communities.
Eze Igbu-Upata, Dr Felix Otuwarikpo announced that 113 more youths of the area have joined 216 others to renounce living by the gun to embrace the olive branch being offered by the government, pointing out that Ekpeye leaders are committed to the peace process in the boiling area.