By Davies Iheamnachor & EgufeYafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT—In a bid to improve the security of communities in Rivers State, Governor Nysom Wike has given his assent to Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law No.8 of 2018.
Wike also gave his assent to Rivers State Secret Cult and Similar Activities (Prohibition) (Amendment) Law No.6 of 2018 and Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) (Amendment) No.2 Law No.7 of 2018.
Giving assent to the three laws passed by Rivers State House of Assembly at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said the laws were necessary to enhance security across the state.
He said: “If your hands are clean, you have nothing to fear about the three laws that I have given assent to. By tomorrow (today), I will appoint the person that will head the Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps.
“All criminals will face the full weight of the law. We will fight crime and ensure that the state is safe for investors.”
He denied claims by opposition elements that the state government plans to use the Neighbourhood Watch to arm youths, saying: “If you are a cultist and you are caught, it is life imprisonment. If you are a cultist and you kill during cult activities, you will face the death penalty.
“If you are convicted for kidnapping and the Supreme Court affirms your conviction, I will sign the death warrant without looking back.”
The governor said the state government will battle cultism and kidnapping to a standstill, noting that enough was enough.
The Senator representing Rivers West senatorial district, Senator Osinakachukwu Ideozu, said the laws assented to by Wike will strengthen security operations in the state.
Ideozu described as unfortunate the failed attempt by Senator Magnus Abe of All Progressives Congress, APC, to mislead the Senate on the Neighbourhood Watch, saying it was within the purview of the Rivers State House of Assembly to pass the state Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps Law for the security of the state.
Ideozu commended Wike for being proactive in the promotion of security in Rivers State by giving assent to the three laws.
Presenting the bills, Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martins Amaewhule, said the laws provided for stiffer penalties in the interest of the state.