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Rivers crisis: Police take over 23 LG secretariats to ensure peace

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The Rivers State Police Command has taken control of the secretariats of the 23 local government areas in the state.

This move follows a crisis over the tenure of the local government council chairmen that has resulted in violence over the past two days.

In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night, the Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, explained that the decision was made after a policeman and a local vigilante member were killed in a clash at the Omuma local government area secretariat.

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The statement read: “Following the breakdown of law and order in the various Local Government Council secretariats in Rivers State, where supporters of the two political factions clashed over the tenure of Local Government Council Chairmen, a case of death was recorded at Eberi-Omuma, Omuma LGA, where a police officer and a vigilante were killed.

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“To forestall more bloodshed and prevent a further breakdown of law and order, the Police have taken over all the 23 Council Secretariats and some critical government infrastructure in the state. Conventional police officers and anti-riot police officers have been deployed to these facilities.”

Iringe-Koko urged all groups and individuals to remain law-abiding, stating: “We warn anyone who intends to cause mayhem that we will not hesitate to impose the full weight of the law on them.”

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She reassured residents and visitors in the state, saying, “We also wish to ask the law-abiding residents and visitors in the state to go about their lawful businesses without fear. We are resolved to carry out our constitutional duty of protecting lives and property.”

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