Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has accused some politicians of planning to set up illegal vigilante groups to clash with members of the Neighbourhood Watch in the state.
The governor, who made the allegation, on Tuesday also claimed the move was aimed at paving way for the police to ban the new security outfit set up by the state government
He spoke when he received the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Mr Usman Abubakar, at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Governor Wike explained that the Neighbourhood Watch is being established to complement the efforts of other security agencies in the state, just as it is in Lagos.
According to him, “We are setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch for intelligence gathering; policemen and other security agencies cannot be everywhere.”
“In setting up the State Neighbourhood Watch, we adopted the process established in Lagos State. This is a replica of what is already in existence in Lagos State,” he added.
In a bid to further improve security in the state, the governor informed the AIG that the state government had acquired six gunboats.
He was optimistic that the move would boost the efforts of the State Police Command in fighting criminals along the waterways.
As the forthcoming general elections draw nearer, Governor Wike called for improved synergy between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police.
He also warned the police against bias and being used to indiscriminately arrest opponents of the ruling party ahead of the polls.
In his remarks, Mr Abubakar said the zonal command remains committed to reducing cultism, kidnapping and other forms of crime in the area.
He also appealed to the stakeholders to work with the police ahead of the elections and to work for peace as the Zone would not tolerate any act of lawlessness.