Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called for investigation into the recruitment processes of security agencies to mitigate alleged issues of human rights abuses by security operatives.
Wike spoke during a courtesy visit by the Presidential Investigating Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with human rights obligation and rules of engagement at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, Wike expressed the hope that the panel would fashion out a sustainable mechanism to deal with issues of human rights abuses by security agencies.
He said it was unfortunate that across the country there have been alleged cases of brutality and human rights abuses by security agencies because of the activities of a few bad eggs, noting that in Rivers State the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) has terrorised the citizenry to such an extent that the people are more afraid of SARS than armed robbers and kidnappers.
According to the governor, the electoral rights of the Rivers people were undermined by security agents during the last election and expressed the hope that indicted persons would be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent.
“You will get memoranda from us about the undermining of the electoral act by security agencies. There is an urgent need to look at the recruitment processes, are they qualified?, are they patriotic?, do they have professional ethics? These are questions that are begging for answers,” Wike said.
He said he believes so much in the unity of the country and would not support any secessionist agenda because God in his infinite wisdom has put Nigeria together as one and will continue to remain so.
According to him the state is very peaceful because his administration has empowered the security agencies with the necessary logistics support to ensure the safety of the citizenry, noting that the State Boundary Commission and the relevant Ministries and Parastatals are also working round the clock to promote peaceful coexistence in the State.
Earlier the Chairman of the Presidential Investigating Panel, Hon. Justice Bauble Abraham Georgewill, had informed the governor that they have received memoranda from various stakeholders and are now in Port Harcourt for the Public Sitting of the South-south zone.
According to him the panel, after successfully sitting in Abuja for the North-central and Maiduguri in the North-east, would sit between September 25 and28, 2017 and called on the people of the South-south states to avail themselves the opportunity to make presentations.