Insecurity and the impunity of robbery in Rivers state

Rivers state is one of the states in Nigeria known for its natural resources particularly oil. It is the centre of Nigeria oil industry and its natural resources have become a major attraction for investors both in Nigeria and in other parts of the world.

According to the census data released in 2006, Rivers state has the population of 5,198,716 making it the sixth most populous states in the country.

Despite all these attractions, the state has one major challenge and it is in the area of security. The level of insecurity in the state cannot be overemphasised. A state where day light robbery and kidnapping have become a norm and nothing is yet to be done about it.

Residents live in fear as a result of the rising cult activities in the state and some parts of Rivers state notorious for its violence are Ikwere, Ahoada,Emouha,Ogba/Egbema and others.

According to Niger Delta report, the boundaries between Ubima, Isiokpo and Elele under Ikwere LGA are dens for kidnappers and cult activities. Residents live in fear of being kidnapped because of how dangerous these communities have become despite the Amnesty programme the Rivers state government have put up for these bad boys, they are still operating freely and terrorising residents there.

In Emouha LGA, there is also a high level of cult related activities. This LGA is very close to Ikwere, therefore cultists in these areas work hand in hand and when there is a clash at times, it leads to the killing of people and destruction of properties.

Ogba/Egbema on the other hand is well known for its ritual businesses. Earlier this year in Omoku, it was reported that On February 12, some young men were beheaded and their heads were taken away. A resident who pleaded anonymity for security reasons said: “In ONELGA, kidnapping and secret killing are major businesses. People are being kidnapped for ransom of between N100, 000 and N200, 000. Kidnapping is a common business in the area and security is very poor, many people, including the indigenes are relocating to other towns for their safety.

Meanwhile in Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers state, in the area of insecurity, it is not excluded. Areas such as Rumuokoro, Diobu, Mile3/Abali park are well known for daylight robbery and killings.

In Rumuokoro, residents prefer to walk in the middle of the road rather than crossing over to the other side of the road to avoid being robbed or attacked. About three weeks ago, a woman was robbed of her valuables and some amount of money at the junction. Also, a young man of about 22 years was attacked and beaten at the junction also because he challenged the hoodlums and adamantly refused to allow them take away his phones.

Abali/Mile 3 park on the other hand is notorious for snatching of valuables from unsuspecting commuters. these set of hoodlums look out for gold chains,wristwatches,handbags,phones and so on and run after moving vehicles where they snatch valuables from commuters and run away.

When it comes to cult clashes and killings, Diobu comes to mind, just some weeks ago, a generator repairer was killed by some suspected cultists and reasons are yet to be known since the deceased siblings claim he was a harmless young man who never looked for anyone’s trouble.

One will wonder, what are the relevant authorities doing about this insecurity issue? are residents going to continue living in fear? Will robbery ever end in Rivers state? these are questions going on in the minds of people and yet no tangible answers can be found.

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