Combating the Rising Spate of Criminality in Port Harcourt and Its Environs

 Combating the Rising Spate of Criminality in Port Harcourt and Its Environs


The rising spate of criminality in Port Harcourt and its environs is gradually changing people’s perception about its Garden city status. However, for most young peop New Port Residences Showflat  le determined to realize their potentials, it is a Mecca of sort. Port Harcourt is regarded has the most sought after city in the country. This has led to an increasing influx of first time travelers. Their missions are mostly to explore the richness the land brings. Prior to the militant agitations, the area was home to the largest concentration of expatriates, not only because of its rich resources, but also due to its serene and bustling night life.

One is particularly saddened by the spiraling killings in Port Harcourt and its surrounding communities. Where did it all go wrong? Some respondents who spoke to our correspondent alleged that the struggle for political power, was largely to blame, that it introduced political gangsterism into politics. Rival cult gangs were funded and empowered with sophisticated weapons by some big shots to help secure political victories. They also argued that the lack of attention from their presumed political godfathers because of their new found status may have driven the boys underground. Hence the alleged cult members had to seek other means of livelihood and relevance. Thus, leading to a battle for supremacy and control of the various communities by the cult groups. Consequently, the situation is fueling violence and criminality, thereby threatening the security of lives and properties. Many oil companies are contemplating relocating their bases because of this insecurity.

Attempts by the various security agencies to arrest the menace of cultism in Rivers State have yielded little results. This is because of the hierarchical structure and vicious spread of the cult groups. They are everywhere and possess the capacity to wreck havoc within a short notice because they have their cells in every community. It is a major challenge for the security agencies. They would have to quadruple their manpower to be able to effectively police these groups.

In a bid to find ways of combating the problem, we sought the views of a retired colonel who gave his advice on combating the insecurity situation in Rivers State. He said that security agencies should step up their intelligence network to enable them combat the rising spate of criminality. While condemning the recent killings in some communities, he attributed it to lack of cooperation between the security operatives and the people. That some people have the information before the attack but are scared of informing the police. He further noted that residents of the State should see security as a collective responsibility.




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