…MEND backs peace moves
Some indigenes of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State say the killing of a notorious cultist known as Small-Witch has reduced incessant gunshots in the area.
One of the community development committee chairmen of the LGA, Mr Duke Usen said prior to the killing of Small-witch by security agents, gunshots were fired every day in Andoni communities.
He said, “we can now sleep with our eyes close because Small-Witch is dead. The reign of Small-Witch was characterised by incessant gunshots in our communities.
“Since Small-Witch was killed by security agents, peace has returned to our area. Though his boys are still there, I don’t think they can disturb the peace of Andoni LGA like when Small-Witch was alive.”
Small-Witch and his gang were said to be the notorious kidnappers responsible for the heinous crimes in Andoni LGA and its environs.
He was also among the gang that kidnapped three policemen last year including the killing of a school headmistress along the Ogoni, Andoni Opobo/Nkoro Unity Road some months ago and the killing of a police inspector attached to the anti cultism unit.
According to the state police command, the killing of Small-witch also brought about the recovery of five magazines; one AK47 rifle containing about 120 live ammunition and a wooden gun.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), says it has accepted the peace initiative by the Andoni Council of Traditional Rulers.
The leader of the group in the area, Mr Etengo Etengo made this known in an audio clip and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the group has accepted the peace initiative by the traditional rulers to encourage the development of the area.
He said the group had realised that development would only thrive in a peaceful environment, calling on the opposing groups to also key into the peace initiative offered by the traditional rulers.
Etengo also called on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike , and security agencies to prevail on Andoni council Chairman, Hon Paul Lawrence to support the peace initiative by traditional rulers in the area.
The group spoke amid allegation that the chairman was on the move to crumble the peace initiative.
he said: “We are calling on the State Governor, Commissioner of Police, GOC, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Director of DSS and other security agencies to please ask the Chairman of Andoni LGA to explain the reasons behind his refusal to work with the committee set up by the traditional rulers to ensure lasting peace in our local government area”.
It would be recalled that the Andoni Council of Traditional Rulers had on March 10, 2020 constituted a 14-member peace initiative committee to interface with various cult groups and security agencies as way of finding lasting peace in Andoni.