Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has ordered the immediate demolition of all criminal hideouts in the state.
Speaking during a state broadcast on Friday, the governor said the move is to prevent any attempt by any group or individuals to undermine the security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers is too hot for them to invade at will and carry out their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
He said: “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 are also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“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.”
Wike said the government was mindful of the economic effects the ongoing measures would have on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, emphasised that the government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets or political sentiments.
He said: “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 neutralized.
“As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state-wide nighttime curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”