His Royal Highness, Prof. Rowland O. Woko, (JP), is the paramount ruler of Eneka Community where gunmen recently killed some people at a drinking joint/viewing centre. In this interview with CHUKU EDITH, he speaks on security in the community and also called on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to look into the malfunctioning solar street lights.
Dare devils seem to have taken over Eneka community?
(Cuts in). That is not true. That's a very wrong assumption, a blundered assertion. You can't and should not say that. You see, I have been warning people to be very careful with what they say because whatever you say will surely hunt you, what you say pursues and follows after you. So saying that dare devils have taken over our own very community is a hasty statement that can only be assumed after proper investigation. Let me even assure you in the name of the God we serve that such assumption cannot come to pass.
What is your opinion over the incident that happened at the security bar in Rumuwule in Eneka?
My opinion about that incident is simple. Let's tread carefully, let's apply wisdom, let's be conscious of whatever we say. So many persons have watery and licking mouth, so they are quick at talking anyhow, carrying rumours. I am still warning them to desist from trying to tarnish the image of this community. I wept bitterly when I heard that some persons that went to enjoy themselves at a bar, while they were there some group of persons came and started shooting at them; at the end lives were lost. I wept. It shocked me because Eneka is not familiar with such kind of ugly incident. That is the more reason why we should tread very carefully so we will not say something that will aggravate what was not.
Assumption has it that it was perpetrated by some youths that are being housed by the community. How true is that?
Like you said, assumption, I will still repeat what I told you, I understand that the military did chase some hoodlums out of
their base at Trans-Amadi and that those hoodlums have scattered themselves, seeking refuge in other communities. But that is not a yardstick or basis for the assumptions. I am the voice of this community, the paramount ruler of Eneka, I have been hearing people saying so much things about this incident and right now I am begging them to stop, they should stop, businesses are fully on, we have strangers in this town, such speeches which are not even true will only destroy an image that has been built for ages now.
So, what do you suspect might have aggravated the issue?
Well, Eneka community had a meeting with the village where the incident happened and by Friday we will be having another meeting. During this meeting we asked them to tell us what happened and they said they don't know, they were only able to describe the incident but did not know what surrounds it, why the shooting? Who shot? Who sent them? What is the issue? they appeared as shock as we are, so we agreed that they should go back and investigate the matter, even the police is also investigating the issue and we believe that the God of Eneka, the God I serve, will not put us to shame.
Business owners have expressed fear which has led to early closure of their shops; do you see that as necessary?
Of course, they have every right to express fear, even some churches now closes earlier than before, the people that were killed are human beings not animals; so their fear and anxiety is justified but I am still saying that they should not rush, they should remain calm, they should not rumour about. By God's grace, we will get to the root of this.
Don't you see any connection between this incident, the one that happened in Rumuomasi and other areas, especially considering the fact that that of Rumuomasi happened two hours after the Eneka incident, also people say there is no difference between the mode of operation and vehicle used in the various places these incidents happened?
My dear, I am human. I feel their fear and pain but I can't assume or accept any assumption until it is properly investigated and proven, I don't know but that is all I can tell you. All we can do right now is to keep our eyes and ears open, kneel to God always, I mean always in prayer. We should always report strange movements and suspicious meetings to security operatives while we appeal to them to be vigilant and alert
The solar lights appear not to be useful anymore; they are mere statutes now. What steps are you taking to see that it becomes useful to aid security in the community?
God bless you. I want to still use this medium like I have been doing, to still appeal. Please we need these lights powered again, it will help our security authorities, business owners, road users. In fact, everybody, once there is light anything that means darkness gives way. Light brings good things and exposes evil. You see, once these lights are functioning you will enter vehicle knowing who is carrying you, who and who is inside the vehicle and be sure of where you are dropped.