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Clergy kicks against moves to disarm vigilante groups

…Say it will expose Rivers communities to crime

By: Emmanuel Ovundah   

The order by the Inspector General of Police to Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation to retrieve all illicit arms, arrest and prosecute unlawful holders, including local vigilante groups has continued to generate reactions among stakeholders especially here in Rivers State.

General Overseer of Christ the Life Bible International Church (CTLBIC), Prophet Ezuo Simeon Okenna kicked against the order by the IGP to retrieve arms from local vigilante groups.

Prophet Okenna made his position known after receiving an award of honour from the Rivers State University Students Foundation (RSUSF) in his office at Omuanwa, Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State.

He warned that retrieving arms from vigilante groups will give criminals who he said are currently in hidings an edge to start coming out to cause mayhem, thereby increasing crime an criminality in the neighborhoods.

According to the clergy, “While I support the move to retrieve arms from unlawful holders, I don’t support the idea of disarming local vigilante groups especially in Rivers State and Niger Delta. They contributed to 70 percent of the peace we enjoy today. When we were sleeping with our two eyes open, they were there for us.

“Today, we can sleep with our two eyes closed, investors are gradually returning to Rivers State and businesses are now moving smoothly, courtesy of the partnership of the local vigilante groups with the security agencies.

“I advice that these local vigilante groups especially be allowed, instead of disarming them, they should be trained and forced to register their guns so that they can be traceable.

“Retrieving arms from the local vigilante groups will expose states especially ‘Rivers  and the entire country to increased crime and criminality”.

Responding to the award, Prophet Okenna thanked the students for finding him worthy and urged them to embrace God, eschew all social vices and remain focused in their studies.

He said, “this honour will inspire me to do more and also maintain the standard of my calling by God’s grace.

“I will keep supporting and empowering the youths especially the indigent ones, orphans and less privileged”.

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