Newly coronated Paramount Ruler of Nworie Royal Family in Nwele-Ndele Community of Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Livinus Agbovu, Jp, is not happy with the spate of kidnapping and criminal activities in Ndele.
In this session with EDITH CHUKU /VICTORY UKORMA, he urged perpetrators to embrace peace and shun all forms of social vices while reiterating that unemployment is no excuse for crime.
Are you comfortable with the level of insecurity in Ndele?
No, I’m not. No one in his right frame of mind and senses will be, when people’s lives, propertty and source of livelihood are involved, and that’s why the governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike is tirelessly employing measures to curb insecurity in the state. So, I condemn the crisis and threat to our security in totality.
Apart from unemployment and abandonment by political godfathers after election, what do you think has angered them to go berserk?
There is no excuse; crime is crime. As much as I know that a hungry man is an angry man but that anger shouldn’t cause another pain and tears. What are they doing? Who is suffering it? We are brothers, sisters, family, siblings; we are the ones suffering it. All we have is this place to call home, I am appealing, begging, they should end crime and embrace peace. Governor Wike is working to ensure that youths of Rivers State are duly employed, they should shun social vices, crimes and prepare for opportunities ahead.
Ndele is not the only place where crime is of the increase. Do you agree that Rivers State is falling apart?
If Rivers State fails, we fail. It’s the duty of all of us to ensure it doesn’t and it will not. Yes, there is serious threat in our security but it is not enough reason to say Rivers State is falling apart. Ndele has been a repository of Ikwerre culture in the sense that people have always been commending Ndele for its hospitality and other things. Ndele produces food crops and many other. In terms of peace, we were noted for our peaceful disposition, there is a very big law that says anyone that kills will not last, if the person dies, he/she will be thrown into the evil forest; but that was then. These days we don’t know what has happened, our children today are different from what we were in our days. I don’t know where they went to conjure themselves, they molest people on the way and hijack motors, I don’t blame anyone, all I’m saying is come back, make a u-turn.
What efforts have been made to restore normalcy in the area?
We tried and we will keep trying, people keep saying Ndele this, Ndele that. We have tried traditionally and we will keep calling and appealing they have a change of heart.
When you say you people have tried traditionally, what does that imply?
That we have called our youths, admonishing them on the need to hands off from crime, we have done that, the security operatives have met with our youths severally and cautioning them. Even last year during December, they announced that there would be no Christmas celebration, that they haven’t been settled; they called them and asked what their problem was. We have tried to make sure that they shun evil, it’s terrible, we are asking them to turn back. These children will go into someone’s house, hijack you and carry your money, you won’t be able to say anything. In Ndele, we don’t make love in the bush or on the ground, but we don’t know what is happening these days, they will hijack people on the road, take them into the bush and do all sort of evil things to them, it does not end there. Before, an Ndele man cannot kill his fellow Ndele man, but these days, they don’t even care, they will cut off a fellow Ndele man’s head and go with it. It’s very terrible and right now, we are not happy. This must stop, it cannot continue. I know they need job; they don’t have anything to do, but that is not an excuse to spill someone’s blood, rob, rape and kidnap, it’s not. If they are prepared, they will meet opportunities. The appeal I’m making to them is that they should embrace peace, the leaders of thoughts in the community are aware of their challenges and are making planes and if better things come we would call them.
Yes, our vigilante group is really working, I must commend them, they are, the governor, having Rivers State at heart, is also doing everything possible to win this war against criminality, I’m sure we will win.