My Dear Good People of Rivers State,
I wish to appreciate our youths and thank them specially for maintaining their cool and not yielding to the temptation to join the fray of violence and destruction that enveloped parts of our country.
As I have reiterated severally, Rivers State is not just our heritage; it is ours to build, defend, and protect from generation to generation.
Nobody can love Rivers State more than us. As for our youth, the future of Rivers State belongs to you as much as as the responsibility to advance, defend and protect its interest and progress.
We must therefore never lose focus of the aspirations of our founding fathers for a united, peaceful and prosperous Rivers State.
We must all be willing at all times to make individual and collective sacrifices toward realizing the Rivers State of our dreams.
I wish to restate, that Rivers State remains the home to all tribes and ethnicities. We have welcomed and lived peacefully for ages with our brothers and sisters from the South-Eastern and other parts of the country.
We also acknowledge and appreciate the abiding bond, love and enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social and economic development of our State.
However, we will never accept nor allow any individual or group from within our outside to violate our peace, endanger lives and property and commit acts of barefaced terror and criminality against innocent citizens under any guise in our State.
And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.
But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State.
This is clearly a terrorist group which existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of South-Eastern States of the country.
I have therefore signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety.
I have also directed security agencies and the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in our communities in terms with the executive order and other legal instruments.
We wish to commiserate, once again, with the security agencies particularly the Police and the Nigerian Army families that lost their loved ones to the murderous acts of IPOB and assure them that the State Government will rebuild destroyed property and assuage their pains.
Furthermore, with the situation put under control and normalcy largely restored, I hereby lift the existing curfew on Mile 1, Mile 2, Iloabuchi, Emenike and Ikokwu areas of Port Harcourt as well as Rumukurushi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.
However, the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area shall remain in force until further notice while the entire Ikokwu market shall remain closed, also, until further notice.
Again, we appeal to everyone to be vigilant and not to allow any individual or group to violate our peace, instigate violence and turn our State into a theatre of violence and destruction.
As a Government, we are ready to do everything within our powers to ensure that Rivers State continues to be peaceful and secure for all residents and the preferred destination for investors and tourists.
We know that the country’s worsening economic situation has wreaked untold hardship, frustration and hopelessness to our teeming unemployed youth.
I wish to assure our youth that we feel your frustrations and accept to commit efforts more than ever and urgently too, to improve the State’s economy and create jobs and economic opportunities to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of our people.
I have by the decision of the State Executive Council today directed the Rivers State Civil Service Commission to take immediate steps to employ 5000 youths into teaching and other career positions in the State’s Civil Service as an immediate measure to reduce the level of youth unemployment.
In addition, we shall also continue to support our youth to acquire relevant skills or take up opportunities in small and medium scale enterprises to become self-employed and employers of labour.
As you are aware, we have successfully used judicial intermediation to reclaim the Soku Oil Wells hitherto wrongfully ceded to Bayelsa State by the Federal Government.
Only yesterday, 27th October 2020, the Supreme Court struck out the suit by the Bayelsa State Government, which sought to prevent us from receiving the derivation proceeds from the Soku Oil Wells.
I wish to assure you that we shall deploy these additional resources judiciously to achieve our economic objectives, enhance our development and make life more meaningful for all.
We are committed to restoring sanity and enhancing free traffic flow on our roads and request for a little more patience while we conclude the setting up of the task force to enforce the ban on illegal street trading and motor parks along public roads.
In addition, and as a further step towards securing public safety, I have approved the ban on the operations of tricycles (popularly known as “Keke NAPEP”) on all major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas, including: Aggrey road, Dame Patience Jonathan road (Creek road), Eastern Bypass road, Ikwerre road, Aba road, Agip road, Ada George road, Olu Obasanjo road, Rumuokwuta – Rumuola road, Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni (leading to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) road, Rumuokwuta – Choba road, Chief G.U. Ake road, Dr Peter Odili road, Ken Saro-Wiwa road, Nkpogu road, Trans-Amadi road, Elekahia – Rumuomasi road, Yakubu Gowon road which is known as Old Aba road, and Woji – Elelenwo road.
Security agencies and the Ministry of Transport are hereby directed to enforce the ban by arresting and prosecuting anyone who disobeys this directive.
We appeal to all tricycle known as Keke Napep operators to respect the ban by limiting their operations to the inner roads which are safer and more appropriate for their services to avoid arrest, prosecution and confiscation of their tricycle otherwise known as Keke Napep.
Finally, I wish to assure all residents of our commitment to deliver on our promise to make Rivers State safer, more secure and better.
We thank you for your continued cooperation, support and prayers.
May God continue to bless Rivers State.
A STATE-WIDE BROADCAST BY GOVERNOR NYESOM WIKE, CON, GSSRS, POS.
28th OCTOBER 2020.