Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has raised the alarm of the plot by some opposition politicians to set up illegal vigilant groups that would clash with the state Neighbourhood Watch to paveÂ the way for the police to ban the new security outfit.
Wike said such political plots would fail as the State Neighbourhood Watch has come to stay, adding that only a court of competent jurisdiction can stop the Neighbourhood Watch.
SpeakingÂ during a courtesy visit byÂ the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone 6, Calabar, Usman Abubakar, at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said the Neighbourhood Watch is strictly a security organisation that would support security agencies with intelligence to promote the security of the state.
He said the Neighbourhood Watch is fashioned in line with the operationsÂ of a similar agencyÂ set up in Lagos State to support security agencies.
His words: â€œIn setting up the state Neighbourhood Watch, we adopted the process established in Lagos State. This is a replica of whatÂ is alreadyÂ in existence in Lagos State.
â€œWe are setting up the state Neighbourhood Watch for intelligence gathering.Â Policemen and other security agencies cannot be everywhere.Â They need the relevantÂ supportÂ to maintainÂ security across the state.â€
Wike announced that the state government has acquired six gunboats for the state police command to help it fight criminals along the waterways.
He warned against the politicisation of security operations, sayingÂ that such actionsÂ would be detrimental to the stability of the country.
He reiterated his advice to INEC and the policeÂ to work towards the successful conduct of the 2019 general election.
He said the police should not be used to indiscriminatelyÂ arrest opponents of the ruling party ahead of the elections.
In his remarks, theÂ AIG in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, Usman Abubakar, said the Zone 6 Police CommandÂ is fashioning out ways to reduce cultism, kidnapping and violent crime in the area.
He appealed to stakeholders to work with the policeÂ to reduce crimeÂ ahead of the 2019 general election.
The AIG called on all groups to come to a round table to work for peace as the police would not tolerate lawlessness.