Mr Erastus Awortu, Chairman, Andoni Local Area Council in Rivers, has advised internally displaced persons (IDPs) to cooperate with security agencies towards ensuring their safe return home.
Awortu said this on Sunday during a visit to an IDP camp in Kaa, Khana Local Government Area, alongside his counterpart, Mr Thomas Bariere, Chairman of Kaa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that relief materials and food items worth millions of Naira were distributed to over the 5,000 inmates from 14 communities in Andoni.
NAN also reports that people who lost their properties as a war of cult rivalry in Andoni are currently taking refuge in the camp.
The council boss charged the inmates to contribute to the ongoing peace process in the area by reporting criminal elements to the security agencies.
“Do not cooperate with criminals; don’t show sympathy for them irrespective of the persons involved. Truthfully, you have all had very bitter experiences.
“When in the past you where acting as informants to cultists and making the area difficult for effective policing and for the security operatives to effectively intercept those criminals, you thought you were doing them good.
“Today, the full weight of your actions have visited and sacked you from your ancestral homes, which is indeed a very sad narrative,” he said.
Awortu, worried over the plight of the displaced persons at the camp, assured of his preparedness to liaise with the security agencies to return them to their homes in the next 10 days.
“The plight of our people is worrisome; here, there are no makeshift tents for displaced persons. The children have been out of school for more than two months and hunger is ravaging the people.
“I will ensure that this untold hardship does not continue under my watch but we all have a role to play.
“We must cooperate with the security agencies, furnish them with all the information they need to effectively carry out their duties.
“Thanks to technology. My phone line is open to complaints and the security agencies are equally ready to act on all distressed calls from Andoni with a view to completely rid that area of criminal elements,” he said.
The council boss also said that security patrol boats have been deployed to the area to boost security on the waterways.
NAN recalls that Awortu was sworn in on June 17 as chairman of the council.
Similarly, Mr Thomas Bariere, Chairman, Khana LGA who was part of the entourage, assured of his willingness to partner his Andoni counterpart in his quest for lasting peace in the area.
The inmates commended the council boss for the gesture and pledged their support for peace.(NAN)