Irked by recent activities of vandals and other criminal elements in Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas respectively, the Councils of Traditional Rulers have charged Council Chairmen of both LGAs to be proactive in tackling the security of lives and properties of the people.
The royal fathers who gave the charge during the third Quarterly General Meeting of Etche Divisional Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs held at Council's headquarters in Okehi at the weekend, said the Council Chairman can do this by ensuring that all known criminals in their areas are brought to book so that citizens would go about their normal businesses freely.
In his address at the occasion, the Onye-Ishi Etche of Etcheland, His Eminence, Christ Ambassador E.N.B. Opurum JP, stressed the need for frequent police patrol along the Okehi/Umoula/Eberi Omuma, Obibi/Akwuobor/Igbodo, Mba/Afara/Nihi and all other adjoining roads in the two LGAs so that kidnapping and armed robbery attacks would be nipped in the bud.
The paramount ruler, who equally called on the chiefs to co-operate with government and security agencies in order to enjoy the dividends of democracy, also urged them to promote and preserve the customs and traditions of Etcheland as well as condemning all bad eggs in their domain.
In his words, “Our revered traditional rulers in Etche and Omuma should not allow overzealous religious fanatics and over ambitious politicians to destroy the culture of Etche Nation; as any entity without culture of identity is lost in the comity of Nations”. The Onye-Ishi Etche also attributed the laxity in the maintenance of culture and traditions to the handwork of politicians in the area.
While stressing the need for unity and cohesion, the Ochie of Etcheland reminded Etche people that the creation of many local government areas in Ikwerre speaking area for instance, did not divide them as they still have Ikwerre Divisional Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs and queried why Etche should be an exception.
Ochie Opurum who is also a member of Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers used the opportunity to commend Governor Nyesom Wike for his good gesture of presenting staffs of office to some traditional rulers in Rivers State during his 100 days in office and appealed to the governor to rehabilitate Igbodo to Okomoko and to Chokocho bridge road that is in total bad condition so as to ease free movement of vehicles and evacuation of farm products from rural to urban areas.
Also speaking, the President General of Ogbakor Etche, a social cultural organization of Etche Ethnic Nationality; Sir Machy Nwodim, expressed worries over the absence of some personalities at the meeting, and advocated the need for the over-hauling of the chieftaincy institution through the invocation of the Divisional Council of Traditional Rulers Constitution as well as applying measures towards uniting the Chiefs together.
In their efforts towards assisting the police for effective policing, the Traditional Rulers Council resolved that the Rivers State House Of Assembly re-visit section 25 of Rivers State Traditional rulers law NO-4 of 2015 in order to put the status of Divisional Council in its proper perspective.
The royal fathers further resolved that any person/group of persons found looting/destroying buildings (arson) would be handed over to the police for persecution even as they resolved that any person or group of persons found blocking road with sticks, drums or tires to the motorist without authority should be handed over to the police for persecution.
“It is further resolved that any person/group of persons found in acts of armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, raping child trafficking or cultism should be sentenced to death by the Law Enforcement Agency.
“That any Traditional Ruler found abating or harbouring any of the above shall be dethroned if found guilty.
“That any person no matter how highly placed that may be found granting bail to any of the above shall be made to serve the same punishment”.
Highlights of the meeting was the observance of a minute silence in honour of HRM Eze Dr. Sylvanus Ukaegbu, Onye-Ishi Agwuru Okehi clan, Eze Ignatious Ordu, Ochimba of Isu Town, Eze Tobias Onyebuenyi, Ochimba of Ogida, Eze John Onyenma, Ochimba of Abara Town and Chief Nnadikwe Emmanuel Amadi, the Ngbaragida of Ihie community who passed to the great beyond recently.