Rivers LG chairman disbands local vigilante, worries over arms proliferation



Mr Erastus Awortu, the Chairman, Andoni Local Government Area, Rivers,  has expressed concern over proliferation light weapons by local vigilante groups.

Subsequently, Awortu has disbanded OSPAC, a vigilante group operating in the area.

The made this known on Wednesday in Ngo, the headquarters the council while inaugurating the new councillors, Vice Chairman, and other key officers in his cabinet.

According to Awortu, a more organised vigilante service will be deployed to the area in accordance with due and community cooperation.

“In respect vigilante services, we are currently working with the peace committee set up by the chiefs.

“I advise all persons threatening the peace as a result one grievance or another to channel their complaints to the chiefs.

“In my discussion with the chiefs, I have been advised that we will need the vigilante services but this is going to be a properly organised group.

“The formation will have the inputs the chiefs, Community Development Chairmen, the women, and all the communities, to enable us maintain a safe Andoni,’’ he said.

Awortu commended the security for timely to an alleged attempt by an armed man to foment trouble during a Thanksgiving session held on Tuesday in Ngo.

“The was allegedly seen to be approaching my direction armed with a pistol while I was in the church to dedicate our council to God.

“I do not know why the allows everybody to bear arms.

“I want the security to investigate the matter and ensure nobody in Andoni who is not a security personnel bears arms. If such persons are caught, let the full weight the visit them,” he said.

Awortu said apart from the Federal Government recognised security and state government security formation (The Neighborhood Watch), the local government area presently had not recognised any vigilante group.

The chairman, who was practising as a lawyer until his new appointment, expressed dismay over the circumstances that led to shutting down courts in the area.

Awortu however, promised to strengthen operations the judiciary and ensure that court activities resumed as soon as possible.

“I’m so excited Magistrate is here today, I have been informed that he has not been sitting due to security challenges, logistics and also the court premises that is in a bad shape.

“I have given directives to the Director Works, we are going to ensure the court resumes just like other courts,” he added. (NAN)