The Rivers State government has warned cultists and other criminal elements in the state to surrender their arms before the expiration of the sixty-day ultimatum granted by the amnesty programme, or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
The government says it will clampdown on any group still bearing arms after the expiration of the ultimatum.
TVC News Edmond Awadje reports that activities of criminal groups in communities across Rivers state have
become a source of worry to many residents in recent past.
This unfortunate development has kept many in perpetual fear and security operatives on their toes.
But the state government said it would no longer tolerate this and has extended the olive branch to all criminal gangs to lay down their weapons and embrace peace instead of an outright retributive justice. A grace period of sixty days was given from September 15 to November 16.
The special adviser on amnesty to the governor on amnesty, Kenneth Chinda has been touring local governments across the state to receive groups and arms submitted.
Chinda said no monetary reward was given to groups who have voluntarily surrendered their weapons. He warned that the state government would go after any group who reneges on their oath.
According to him; the state government would soon kick start specialized training for all repentant gangs.
For residents of Port Harcourt; the amnesty programme is welcome because it would allow many across the state to sleep with their two eyes closed.
These security experts also commended the state government for the initiative. But they would rather want it to be more proactive considering the negative effects of the criminals on the state.
They also spoke on how to make the amnesty programme more viable.
As the deadline of November 16 approaches; residents of Rivers state have advised government to ensure proper monitoring of the activities of repentant criminal groups so as to prevent them from being tempted to
return to their past.
They also want effective monitoring of the amnesty programme so as not to be used as a conduit pipe to syphone the scarce resources of the state government by some smart politicians in collaboration with civil servants.