Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has threatened to amend the law establishing the State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, to exclude the Police from vetting the recruited operatives .
Wike stated this while inaugurating the Board members of the agency, while directing them to kick-start the process of recruiting quality operatives for the agency.
He said that the amendment of the law will take a queue from the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, which did not need to get police to vet members recruited operatives.
Performing the inauguration on Monday at the Government House Port, Harcourt, Wike said there is no going back on the establishment of the agency because it is central to the security of the state.
He said : “Use your experiences and capabilities to ensure that the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency takes off effectively. By September, 2018, I expect that the training of operatives would have been concluded and the agency fully operational”.
He charged members of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency not to be swayed by the antics of opponents of the establishment of the agency because their duty is vital to the stability of the state.
The governor alerted the nation that some politicians have approached the police to sabotage the scheme by rejecting operatives recruited by the agency.
He said that the State Executive Council would approach will approach the Rivers State House of Assembly for the amendment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency law, so that the Police will not be required to vet the recruited operatives as is obtainable in Lagos State.
The governor advised the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency to recruit only persons that have the interest of the state at heart.
He said contrary to criticisms against the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, they are only to bear light arms subject to the approval of the Police. He said that the light arms to be borne by the agency’s operatives would be for self-defence.
“The Chairman of the Board is a retired Brigadier General, while the Director General is a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police. We have appointed credible and experienced retired security chiefs because we want the best for the state.
‘Now that we have prevailing peace in the state, all efforts should be geared towards sustaining it,” he said.
Responding, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency , Brigadier General Dick Ironabare assured the government and people of the state that the agency would work to enhance state-wide security.
He commended the Rivers State Governor for deeming it necessary to set up the new security scheme, which is in line with international best practices of securing communities.
The Chairman said that the agency would work within the ambit of the law in the discharge of her duties. He said most of the people opposed to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency do so because they don’t understand its relevance in modern day security framework.
He commended Governor Wike for the support rendered to security agencies across the state as well as the promulgation of stringent laws to check kidnapping and cultism.