Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has accused some “desperate politicians” of recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to attack and intimidate voters during the upcoming elections.
The governor stated in a state broadcast on Monday that the rising cases of cultism in the state during this election season are being sponsored by politicians to settle political scores.
Wike went on to say that some party support groups in the state are being used as a vehicle for thuggery and cult activities sponsored by disgruntled politicians in the run-up to the elections.
He was responding to reports that armed policemen detained about 30 members of the Atiku Support Organisation during a meeting in the state capital.
The governor also directed security agencies to conduct raids on any suspected area occupied by cultists, militant support groups, and other miscreants used by politicians to disrupt the state’s peace, safety, and security.
I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.
Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State.
Wike called on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the state, which he said are made to instill sanity and safeguard the public interest.
We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores.
Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.