Despite criticism, Wike to sign Neighborhood Watch Bill next week.

Not giving in to series if criticism following the passage of the Neighborhood Watch Bill by the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that he will sign the neighborhood watch bill next week to give effect to the legal existence of the bill.

Governor Wike Stated that the State Neighbourhood Watch will support security agencies with intelligence and information to prevent criminality in the state.

Wike said this at the official flagging off the construction of Isiodu Road in Emohua Local Government Area on Saturday.

Rivers State chapter of the All Progressive Congress had criticized the bill, saying that it is an attempt by the Governor to arm a private army.

But the Governor, however, denied that the bill is aimed at arming the youth to cause mayhem. He said that contrary to the falsehood being spread by the leadership of the APC, the government is only being proactive with the bill as it will entrench preventive mechanisms that will protect lives and property across the state.

He said: “Neighbourhood Watch has nothing to do with carrying arms. Their duty is to complement security agencies across the state.

“Security of lives revolves around information and intelligence. Members of the Neighbourhood Watch will gather intelligence and information and pass same to security agencies for the protection of lives and property ”

He maintained that propaganda will in no way, intimidate the government from doing whatever is necessary to protect lives in the state.

He said: “I will sign the Neighbourhood Watch Bill by next week. All these lies being spread will not stop us. The Neighbourhood Watch is for the good of our people. We have sworn to protect our people”.

The governor said that the youths of the state will be employed as the Neighbourhood Watch takes effect.