Call to Stop the Persistent Sealing Off of Rivers’ 23 Local Government Council Secretariat

Call to Stop the Persistent Sealing Off of Rivers' 23 Local Government Council SecretariatThe Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is occupying the 23 local government council secretariat. This is a concerning situation that is preventing the civil service from operating smoothly and our people in rural areas from receiving the benefits of democracy. I write to you as a concerned citizen of Rivers State and as a public servant who has carried the burden of providing meaningful leadership for the grassroots, at the third tier of government in Rivers State.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>

In light of the foregoing, I respectfully request that you, in your esteemed capacity, as the Inspector General of Police, immediately ask the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Olatunji Disu, to dismantle the barricades at the 23 LGA council Secretariat and thus, end the siege to the Secretariat by the Police.

I believe the immediate withdrawal of these riot police officers from our council premises is imperative to restore normalcy and create the much-needed conducive atmosphere for seamless administration of local government affairs as enshrined in our constitution.

It is noteworthy that much as I acknowledge the statutory responsibility of the Police in maintenance of law and order, the continuous siege laid to the local council Secretariat can have several negative consequences on the work environment and psychology of council staff, political appointees and visitors to the LGA offices for various official reasons. These include:

* Disruption of normal local administrative routines and impediment of the workflow of council workers. Regular tasks are now been delayed or halted due to restricted/zero-access to offices and government facilities within the councils.

* Feeling of trepidation and intimidation of LGA workers, visitors and business owners within the affected council areas due to heavy presence of police operatives. This has led to absenteeism and loss of productivity, including a dwindling revenue generation for these LGAs.

* The LGA secretariat which often serve as a beehive of activities for sundry public services have now been deserted. Civic responsibilities which have prerequisites like voter card, NIN and LGA Identification Letters, are now suffering as a result of hindered access to these offices within the precincts of the councils. Frustration for citizens who need these services to prepare travel documents, employment or educational pursuits are now nearing an alarming crescendo, by the day.

* Scheduled meetings, planned sessions, and other official functions are been postponed or canceled indefinitely. This is slowing down decision-making processes and the implementation of council policies that deliver effective governance to the doorsteps of people at rural areas/grassroots.

Whilst I agree that the mobilisation of your men is to ensure safety of lives and property by maintaining law and order, you will also concur that your men’s presence have heightened tension in a state that has been proven to be very peaceful and law-abiding. This is certainly not giving us a positive outlook to prospective investors, who have indicated readiness to do business with our state during the just concluded Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit.

Let me conclude by stating without equivocation, that my plea does not advocate for total withdrawal of security architecture from the councils but I rather advance a call for professionalism in your engagements by removing the barricades to our secretariat in order not to stifle developments at the grassroots, as this ugly development is already taking its toll on essential services like health, education and maintenance of utility services.

As I express confidence on your ability for a prompt intervention in this matter, which I view as an irritable means of reinforcement of public trust on the NPF as professional partners-in-progress that support the executive arm of government in delivering efficient governance to the people of Rivers State, please accept the highest assurances of my esteemed regards.

For and on behalf of concerned citizens of Port Harcourt.CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>