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Wike orders destruction of criminal hideouts in Rivers

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne areas of the state.

The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and attack targeted security posts and personnel.

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Wike gave the directive in a state broadcast yesterday, disclosing that the state government had identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and hide after their operations.

“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East-West road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.

“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.

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“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme-Onne axis of the East-West road to vacate the area within two weeks from today 11th June 2021, as the state government will go-ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice,” he said.

Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.

He, however, stressed that the government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.

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He explained that the existing curfew in the state would not last one day beyond necessary and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state.

“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralised. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the statewide nighttime curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks,” he added.

Wike said he had received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on illegal trading and parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.

He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.

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