As preparations for the 2019 general elections begin, Rivers state may be heading for another round of uprising.
The state may witness new wave of violence if the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers make bold their threat to float a parallel local security organization.
Pro-APC group, Free Rivers Initiative at a rally in Abia-Odual Local government area said it had information that Governor Nyesom Wike had concluded plans to arm at least 200 youths in each of the 23 LGAs in the State through the establishment of the Neighborhood Watch.
President-General of Free Rivers Initiative, Sampson Ngeregbara observed that the Neighborhood Watch was not to protect Rivers people as claimed by the Governor but a calculated plan to haunt the APC and its supporters with the aim to silence them before 2019.
Ngeregbara who said the, “APC will not sit and watch themselves being killed as it happened in 2015,” called on the Federal government to stop the Neighborhood Watch from coming into operation.
He also alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the State had started cloning Permanent Voters’ Cards that will be used for multiple voting in 2019.
According to him, “What we are saying is conditional. If the Federal government allows the Neighborhood Watch Law to be enforced, we will protect ourselves and one way of doing that is to have our own Neighborhood Watch. We will pass through due process and we are looking for competent hands who are not even members of APC.
“We are already interviewing former Commissioners of Police and a former AIG who we will appoint as DG of our own Neighborhood Watch.
“We will have no option than to do all these if the Federal government fails to stop the Neighborhood Watch.”
Reacting to this, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Rivers State, Samuel Wanosike said the APC cannot venture into what was not backed by law.
He dared the opposition to, “gather in the name of any security group anywhere in the State. They will see the will of Rivers people.”
“We hear that APC Leaders, Sampson Ngeregbara, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, Chidi Lloyd and Asita Asita met with some 52 Rivers youths in Abuja and said they want to come and form their own Neighborhood Watch without any law backing them.
“That kind of thing will never happen,” Wanosike said.