Lawmakers Hail Neighbourhood Safety, Anti-Kidnap Bills


As the amended Rivers State Secret Cult and Similar Act Prohibition No 1 Bill 2018, and Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Amendment Bill No 2 2018 awaits the governor’s assent, members of the State House of Assembly have listed the benefits of the two laws.
The lawmakers during debate on the two laws said the state will witness peace and tranquility. Majority Leader of the House, Hon Martins Amaewhule said the two bills will serve as deterrent to those who would want to engage in such anti-social act.
He argued that the excuse by many of those who claim that the economy could put pressure on some persons to engage in kidnapping and cultism were unfounded.
In the words of Amaewhule, “an hungry man in an angry man but that does not make you to take the life of your fellow man”.
The majority leader was of the view that, “Those who engage in crime must pay the prize…It’s a carrot and stick approach”.
He urged stakeholders and other members of the public to join hands in fighting crime, and ensuring peace in the society, “those who engage in this crime are our brothers so we need to help them.”
Other legislators who supported the bill to be passed into law include Mathew Dike of Tai Constituency, Echi Edison of Ahoada Constituency II, Friday Nkee of Khana Constituency II, Christian Ahiakwo of Onelga Constituency II and Dr Innocent Barikor of Gokana Constituency among many others who threw their weight behind the death penalty now attached as punishment for offenders.
On the Neighbourhood Safety Corps bill of 2018 which has also been passed into law, the lawmakers were of the view that security of lives and property will now improve in all parts of the state.
Members representing Bonny Constituency, Hon Abinye Pepple said that the law will have direct impact on the local people.
Pepple while decrying the security challenges confronting riverine communities on the waterways explained that with a security outfit such social malaise will be curtailed.
Representative of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Monday Mgbar, who is also caretaker chairman of Tai Local Government Area, during the public hearing on the neighbor-Neighbourhood Safety Corps bill, said the council authorities have key role to play of the agency will succeed.
While pledging support to the law, Mr Mgbar suggested that chairmen of the local government areas be included in the board of the safety corps.
Explaining why he recommended that chairman of councils be included in the board, the caretaker chairman of Tai local government area held that they are the chief security officers of their various areas, and therefore should be involved the management of security in their local government areas.
For Prince Ekpere of Social Action, a nongovernmental group, the Neighbourhood Safety Corps should be made of individuals who have experience on security matters, so as to inject expertise in their operations.