The chief of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers, Tonye Princewill, has disclosed alternatives to the increasing insecurity in Rivers State.
He said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
He said that persistent cult clashes, kidnappings and general insecurity menace presently haunting most parts of the state had created a bad perception for the once business-friendly state, leaving investors with no option than relocating their businesses to safe areas.
Princewill added that job creation and private sector collaboration were key to ending insecurity and crime in the state.
“Recently, the state government procured some security vehicles to boost security operations in the state.
“ I’m not going to say that I am satisfied with this effort but unfortunately for us, the security situation here in Rivers calls for very serious concern, so any progress made in this direction is actually worth commending.
“I am happy that the situation is visible enough to have attracted the governor’s attention and it’s a welcome development.
“I just came in from Buguma which is the part of the state lying in the middle of the creeks, it was peaceful and I spent about five days there having a good time with my people,” Princewill told NAN.
“But as a matter of fact, not many persons would want to travel to such parts of the state because they are scared about our security situation which is the difference between perception and reality.
“The perception is that the state is insecure, for instance, when I came into the airport, the lounge was empty, now I’m leaving it’s still empty apart from a few passengers I met.
“The reality is that the situation in the state is serious, businesses are leaving the state, investors have lost confidence in the state, so the governor needs to do more than buy security vehicles for operatives but to also strive to regain investors confidence.”
He also said that security should involve a partnership between the private sector and the government, adding that government alone could not totally handle the challenge.
“Indeed, government alone cannot effectively tackle security challenges in the state, just like Lagos State, the private sector should be brought on board.
“In the case of Lagos State, they have the Security Trust Fund, this means that the private sector is also bringing in resources to complement the efforts of government and then security is centrally managed.
“In such instance, even the security vehicles that were bought then were got with the trust fund powered by the banks, manufacturing and other private sectors.
“This isn’t the first time the state government has procured security vehicles, the truth is that there is no system here and in such situation, nothing works,” he said.
The chieftain, therefore, urged the Rivers Government to focus on creating jobs for the youth to check poverty and further breakdown of law.
“A significant challenge for the government is to unravel the root cause of insecurity and this is unemployment, so the government should tackle the problem of unemployment head-on and the crime rate will obviously be lowered,” he said.