In the dying days of the failed administration of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers State was in the news for the very wrong reasons. The former governor having lost the support of the people due to his corrupt tendencies and several abandoned projects chose to deliberately promote insecurity.
This deliberate plot of the immediate past administration was orchestrated through the unfortunate creation of conflict with all security agencies operating in Rivers State. To further damage the security framework of the state, the former governor stopped all forms of support to the security agencies.
To divert attention of his ugly plot against the people of Rivers State, the former Governor engaged in ceaseless negative propaganda against security agencies and operatives. He disparaged security agents, maligned them and promoted unwholesome insecurity across the state.
The former governor had allowed insecurity to fester under the lame excuse that he was in the opposition. An excuse that has been rubbished by the positive developmental actions of Governor Wike in the last two months.
Therefore, at the time Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was sworn in on May 29, the level of insecurity in the state had degenerated unimaginably. The former governor worsened the situation by embezzling funds meant for the monthly salaries of workers and the pensions of retired civil servants. This further complicated the insecurity situation of the state.
Between May 29 and now, Governor Wike has changed the story of Rivers State. Though the state is yet to resolve all her security challenges, it has once again become the darling of investors and leisure seekers. It is no longer in the news for the wrong reasons. The level of kidnappings, armed robbery and cultism have declined considerably.
Though an opposition governor, Wike has constructively engaged with all the security agencies to promote best practices in the security of lives and property. He has supported all the services, engaging in regular and friendly security meetings with them for the good of the state. The results are there for all to see.
Nyesom Wike has taken politics out of the security architecture of the state. He has redefined it and given it a new meaning.
On Tuesday, August 4, he strengthened the security architecture of the state. He donated 64 Utility Vans equipped with state-of-the-art communication gadgets to the security agencies operating in the state. Thirty four of the vans were donated to the joint task force comprising all agencies while 30 vans were donated to the Police.
The Inspector General of Police ( IGP), Solomon Arase travelled to Rivers State to receive the vehicles personally on behalf of the security agencies. He praised Wike for redefining the security architecture of Rivers State.
He noted that the collaboration between the police and the Rivers State Government is yielding positive results as post election violence has been reduced.
Arase urged the security agents who will use the vehicles to respect the rights of the citizens while carrying out their assignment.
At the ceremony to mark the donation of the vehicles, Governor Wike said: "The most important responsibility of government is to protect lives and property. This government will not fold its arms and allow criminals to terrorise the state. That is why we have donated these 64 Utility Vans to the security agencies to frustrate the criminals ".
Beyond the donation of the vehicles, Governor Wike initiated a compensation scheme where families of security agents who die in active service fighting criminals will receive N5 million while residents who supply credible information that will lead to the arrest of kidnappers, armed robbers and cultists will get N1 million.
The governor had earlier sent a bill to the State House of Assembly for the amendment of the state kidnapping law. Under the proposed law, convicted kidnappers will forfeit their assets and proceeds of their crime to the state government. This is aimed at reinforcing the government’s determination to make kidnapping unattractive in the state.
During the campaigns, Wike made a solemn pledge to make security of lives and property his administration’s priority. He has lived up to his promise.
Aside the collaboration with the security agencies, Wike’s execution of projects across the state is keeping countless youths busy and turning them away from crime.
Wike came prepared to lift Rivers State. He is working in line with the expectations of the people who sent Amaechi and his political associates on political exile for wanton corruption, diversion of state resources and promotion of insecurity for political gains.
With a secure environment comes development. The future looks bright for Rivers State under a focused and compassionate leader.
The New Rivers State has a team of prolific writers who will be introduced with time.