A member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Friday Nubari Nke-ee has accused the state government of indirectly sponsoring rival gang wars in the state.
Speaking on a radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt Thursday morning, the legislator, representing the Khana II constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly said the attitude of the state government recognising cultists and paying them was indirectly encouraging gang wars and other forms of criminality in the state.
He appealed to the state government to provide incentives to youths who are not criminally minded so as to discourage gang wars and other forms of criminality in Rivers State adding that the best way to end violence among the youths was to reward good conduct.
Nke-ee said; “I want to say that government should endeavour to encourage the nonviolent youths. A situation where government respect those who are violent, paying them money, giving them opportunities to excel over those who are non-violent is encouraging gang violence in our society”.
“So government on its own is sponsoring violence indirectly in the name of recognising these cultists. If the government that is supposed to chase them now is recognising them, what are you trying to say? You are now encouraging those who hitherto wouldn’t have been violent to embrace violence so that they can survive”
“So the thing the government should do to discourage violence is now to embrace those who are not violent”.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command has said it arrested four cult kingpins suspected to be the masterminds of incessant cult wars in Rumuolumeni, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The Command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, made this known in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, last Monday.
He said the cultists were arrested during a sting operation by operatives of the Rumuolumeni Divisional Police Station on April 18, at about 2100 hours.
According to him, the arrest was made in a bid to stem the rising cult activities in the state.
“They were arrested with one English made revolver pistol and three live ammunition, and have made useful confessions.
“Meanwhile efforts are on to arrest other members of the gang, and they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
“The war against armed banditry in the state is on and we can only do better with the support of the public,’’ he added.
He, however, urged residents to always report suspicious characters and movements to the police via 08033312261, 08033396638 and 08098880134.