Wike vows 'illegal militia training camp' shut down by Army will continue operation

Wike vows militia training camp shut down by Army continues

The governor has described the Army's disruption of the camp as 'the worst act of irresponsibility'.

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has vowed that a training camp shut down by the Nigerian Army will continue operation elsewhere.

The Nigerian Army had announced on Thursday, November 29, 2018, that it had discovered an illegal militia training camp at Nonwa Gbam in Tai local government area of the state.

The Army reported that the camp, an orientation camp for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), was used to train over 100 recruits who were undergoing a military type of training.

In a statement signed by Governor Wike's Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the governor described the Army's disruption of the camp as 'the worst act of irresponsibility' aimed at instigating insecurity in the state.

According to the governor, the training that was shut down was that of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency Training programme which he said was approved by the state's House of Assembly and was being operated in partnership with some security agencies.

He accused the Army of high-handedness in the shutting down of the camp, alleging that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, has allowed vigilante groups in other states controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said, "The Army is not concerned about the killing of soldiers in Borno. They are only interested in creating insecurity in Rivers State.

"If you don't want Rivers State to be safe, then Nigeria will not be safe. They want to use their guns against us.

"Zamfara and Kogi States have vigilante groups. They commissioned them and the Chief of Army Staff did nothing. The House of Assembly passed a law approving the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. The Chief of Army did not challenge the law in court, but today he sent troops to invade the training camp."


Governor Wike further said that the trainees who were recruited for the training were properly vetted by the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Services (DSS) to eliminate any criminal threat.

He said, "We did not hire boys for political reasons. This has been a transparent process and that is why the personnel are trained at the NYSC Orientation Camp at Nonwa. We involved the Police and the DSS to ensure that the trainees are profiled for the good of the society."

While stating that the vigilante group's creation is an attempt to fill a security vacuum in the state, Wike said the training will continue regardless of the Army's intrusion.

"If they stop the training elsewhere, personnel of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency will be trained at the Government House Port Harcourt," he said.

Source: news

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