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IGP says barricade of Rivers local gov’t secretariats to continue, as caretaker chairmen resume
Politics

IGP says barricade of Rivers local gov’t secretariats to continue, as caretaker chairmen resume

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The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, said his men would continue to barricade all local government secretariats in Rivers State amidst the ongoing political tension.

Egbetokun made this known on Thursday in Abuja while addressing journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers.

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He disclosed that policemen will not leave the headquarters until a court judgement on the controversy over the tenure of local government council chairmen in the State.

Egbetokun said the presence of the police officers was to ensure peace and order and not to intimidate anyone.

The police boss also reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force on the need for preemptive measures to forestall any escalation of violence.

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He said, “You are all aware that in what happened two-three days ago, we lost a police inspector. We are sad about that. We don’t want to lose more men.

“We don’t want to lose more Nigerians. We don’t want to lose more citizens of Rivers State. So we have a duty to prevent the breakdown of law and order.

“And that’s why we have our men taking over the secretariat while we await the outcome of the case in court.

“As soon as the court makes its pronouncement, we will remove the barricade. Thank you.“

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The state police command had on Tuesday announced that it had taken over all the council headquarters to forestall further bloodshed and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.”

A policeman and a member of a local security outfit were killed during a clash between supporters of the governor and his predecessor, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, at Eberi-Omuma in the Omuma Local Government Area of the state.

Rivers caretaker chairmen resume, dissolve LGs’ committees

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The Caretaker Committee Chairmen for the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State have assumed duties with the swearing-in of their members and dissolution of all standing committees in their respective councils.

Also, the chairmen dissolved all task forces set up by the ousted council chairmen, even as they pledged to pay all outstanding salaries owed to their predecessors.

Recall that Governor Siminalayi Fubara had on Wednesday sworn in the chairmen in Government House urging them to promote peace at all times, saying they can work from anywhere for the time being.

Speaking after swearing in his members adjacent to the council secretariat in Ogu, the CTC Chairman of Ogu/Bolo LGA, Evans Bipi, said his administration would focus on human capital development, economic empowerment, and employment generation to improve the quality of life of the people.

He also promised to embark on massive stomach infrastructure to reduce hunger and poverty as well as provide grants for small and medium-scale enterprises to boost the household economy in the area while urging his committee members to be dedicated to the discharge of their duties.

He stated, “There will be human capital development, we will support women and men doing business because infrastructure without food in your stomach is zero.”

To the committee members, he said, “Be firm and honest while discharging your duties. None of you should be deterred or intimidated.”

He called on his predecessor and his team to return all government property in their possession.

“All council properties in the custody of the previous administration by anyone, be it power generating set, pen, and others should be returned because I will pursue you to the latter. I hereby dissolve all standing committees. If you are a standing committee, you stand dissolved,” he said.

In Eleme LGA, the CTC Chairman, Brain Gokpa, after swearing in his members said he would prioritize security and promised everybody along in the scheme of things.

“Many people have expressed fears that nobody can control Brain (himself), Brain is not a stupid person, he is a politician who knows that collectively we can achieve our aim because I know I cannot do it alone. We will carry our stakeholders and everybody along. So nobody should be scared.

“Fundamentally we will not play with security and no act of indiscipline. I have been active in the security of Eleme since 2015 so I know the dynamics of security in Eleme.”

While condemning the destruction of property in the council secretariat by hoodlums, he announced the dissolution of some youth councils and standing committees.

“All standing local government committees are hereby dissolved. The revenue director should take charge of all revenues pending the appointment of committees.”

In Khana LGA, the newly sworn-in CTC Chairman, Marvin Yorbana, promised to run an all-inclusive government where young people, the elderly, and women will be empowered.

Yorbana, shortly after swearing-in members charged them to work together to build the LGA, saying, “For our members let us work together as a team, collaborate, put ideas together even with the leaders of Khana both at the community and government levels, women and youths to make us succeed,

“This government is one of empowerment. We want to build the capacity of our people and attract businesses to Khana.”

He promised to immediately execute the directives of the Governor to pay the salaries of workers and announced the dissolution of all former appointees in the area.

“All committees, both standing and whatever remain suspended from today, and anybody going on behalf of Khana LG to collect revenue from anybody or on behalf of the council should stop forthwith. Immediately we will ensure that salaries are paid, even the outgone LG chairmen and councilors.”

Punch


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