PORT HAR-COURT— GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike yesterday warned traditional rulers in Rivers State to desist from what he described as involvement in politics, saying he would not hesitate to move against any monarch found to be partisan.
He also said traditional rulers would be held responsible for the conduct of operatives of the newly constituted Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Agency.
Wike, at the 108 and 109 general sessions of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, also said the security outfit would soon become operational.
In addition, he cautioned the monarchs against being partisan, adding that partisanship would reduce their relevance in the society.
His words: “The Neighborhood Watch arrangement will soon be fully operational to complement efforts of federal security agencies in the detection and prevention of crime in our neighbourhoods.
“Let me remind you that the corps members were recruited based on your attestations to their character and suitability. Consequently, we will hold you accountable for the performance of the corps and the success of the scheme in your local government areas, communities, and neighbourhoods.
“If you don’t respect your stool, you will have challenges. Withdraw yourselves from playing politics. If you don’t withdraw yourselves, I will withdraw you. If you take sides, I will also take sides.
“We expect political parties to play by the rules and embark on peaceful, issue-based campaigns.”
But you must be on the watch to ensure no person or entity violates the peace of your communities under the guise of political campaigns.
“At the end of the campaigns the votes of our people are very important and we expect the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct free, fair and credible general elections that will enable our people to freely determine their political direction and destiny.
“It is time you lend your voices more forcefully to the neglect of the state by the Federal Government, the devastation of our environment by the oil companies, the grand fraud and deception on the Ogoni cleanup and the call for economic justice and fiscal federation”
Chairman of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja appealed to the federal government to revive ports in Rivers to create employment opportunities for the youths.