Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, said on Sunday that the insecurity in the state started under the previous administration.
Wike said this at the thanksgiving service at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Okrika in honour of Patience Tam-George, the octogenarian mother of the Commissioner of Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, who was held hostage for six days by kidnappers.
He specifically said killings and kidnappings in Rivers occurred unabated during the administration of former governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Security agencies had in July called a peace meeting between Wike and Amaechi over the tensed security situation in the state.
Represented by the Secretary to the state government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, the governor said, “We are happy that our mother, Ma Patience Tam-George, did not die in the hand of the kidnappers. The issue of security challenges we are facing was inherited, it is not from us. That is why the governor has encouraged the security agencies to fight crime.
“The governor has zero tolerance for crime. The Amnesty programme, which is also one of the approaches, is to give the cults a second chance.”
Wike called on clerics to tell the youths to shun violence, even as he enjoined the people of the state to support the efforts of the state government in the fight against crime.
Reacting, the state Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, described the claim as preposterous and ridiculous.
He said, “That is the most preposterous story to tell. Anybody who lived in Rivers State when Amaechi was governor agreed that Amaechi gave his all to fight insecurity in the state.
“It is possible that Kenneth Kobani (representative of the governor), who had gone on self-exile, did not come down to Rivers to experience the quiet and safe Rivers State then.
“He (Kobani) never lived in Rivers during the time Amaechi was governor. So, he spoke from the angle of lack of experience.”