Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Francis Mobolaji Odesanya, has blamed the continued cases of crime and criminality in the state on illegal possession of arms by those he described as non-state actors.
CP Mobolaji, spoke at a Stakeholders Eminent Persons Forum, organised by the Rivers State Command of true Nigerian Police at the Officers Mess in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Police boss, who informed that the essence of the forum, was to interact with stakeholders on effective ways of combating crime in the state, said, the forum is a wakeup call to the Police, traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders on crime fighting.
He blamed inadequate crime fighting on lack of mutual trust between members of the public and the Police on information sharing.
CP Odesanya regretted that while victims of crime are left in pain, most suspects are yet to be brought to book.
He said: “One of the areas of mutual distrust and conflict has been in the area of service delivery. The Police is often perceived to be highhanded and uncivil, especially in the discharge of their constitutional responsibility to society without empathy. This disconnect has been responsible for so many lack of cooperation and seeming inharmonious working relationship.
“The major problem across the state has been an ugly environment unleashed on the public by non-state actors who have access to illegal sophisticated arms. These illegal arms have been used to kill, maim and rob victims. The situation is most unfortunate.
“Therefore, we shall be very unrelenting in our efforts to clamp down organised criminal gangs and unlicensed fire arms holders.”
The CP, who reemphasized his resolve to remain apolitical, however added that the command under his watch, will support the state government’s amnesty to criminals in order to reintegrate them to the society.
Speaking, the state governor, Barr Nyesom Wike, represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George: said the intention of the amnesty programme by the state government. “We do not in any event want to reward crime to those who were involved in crime and criminality. Gov Wike’s intention is to rehabilitate those who out of frustration have been involved in crime.
“We want to make sure that we work in close collaboration with the Police and all security agencies in the state. Not just the Police but the neighbourhoods will work closely with the police by providing information”, he said.
He, therefore, called on the Police to guarantee utmost confidentiality to those who provide information as a way of encouraging people to divulge information to the Police. He pledged the state government’s resolve to always collaborate with security agencies in the state.
Contributing, the General Overseer of Omega Power Ministries, OPM, Apostle Chinyere Chibuzor, kicked against monetary incentives for repentant cultists, saying they will use the money to repurchase illegal arms.
In attendance were security Chiefs, traditional rulers, religious leaders, political party leaders and as well, local government caretaker committee chairmen.


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