Police take over local government secretariats in Rivers state

The Rivers State Police Command have taken over the secretariats of the 23 local councils in the state following deadly clashes by some youths on Tuesday said to have embarked on decision to flush out the council chairmen following the Monday expiration of their three-year tenure in office.

Penpushing reports that the angry youths, said to be loyalists of Governor Siminalayi Fubara, stormed the secretariats to force the chairmen out of office amidst reports that the chairmen had vowed to sit tight despite the state government announcing the end of their tenure and the appointment of interim administrators.

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The council embattled chairmen on their parts have insisted that they are still in power for additional six months as amended by some lawmakers known to be supporters of the immediate past Governor Nyemsom Wike.

Penpushing further reports that it was established that two people which include a police officer, were reportedly killed on Tuesday during a clash between two political factions, a development confirmed by the police authorities

The Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer Grace Iringe-Koko, explained that to prevent similar development, the police took over the secretariat to avoid more bloodshed and further breakdown of law and order.

“A case of death was recorded at Eberi-Omuma, Omuma Local Government Area, where a police officer and a vigilante were killed. 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’, she said

Penpushing also reports that Iringe-Koko, a superintendent of police in the statement warned that the police were prepared to deal with troublemakers in the state, just as the Governor alleged of plot by some elements to cause arrest of some innocent people in the state.

“Let me also say this: I’m also aware that there is a grand plan to come and arrest some of our supporters. This time around, you have to pass through me to arrest them because I don’t think there is anything that any of those people following us has done. Rather, they are standing on the side of truth,” Fubara said

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