Today, Tuesday, 17th January 2023, Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Okon Effiong had a meeting with the youth leaders from the 23 local government areas in Rivers to discuss security in the State ahead of the 2023 general election.
The meeting was attended by all the youth leaders in Rivers State including the Rivers State Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria, the Ijaw Youth Council President, and the president of the Ogoni Youth Federation among other youth leaders in the State.
The focus of the meeting was on:
1. Cultism2. Violence 3. 2023 Election
On violence and Cultism, CP Okon Effiong spoke on why the youth must shun Cultism and violence in the state. He used the occasion to remind the youths that they are all potential leaders and that they must he careful of the seed they are sewing as whatever they sow today is what they will reap tomorrow. The commissioner also spoke extensively on the need to be a good follower maintaining that one must be a good follower first before he can be a good leader.
On violence during election.The commissioner reminded the youth that there is no permanent enemy in politics, rather there is permanent interest , and therefore it doesn’t make sense for the youth to have permanent enemies and allow themselves to be used by politicians to fight and kill themselves when their children are abroad. He asked a rhetorical question, “why are they not using their children?”.CP Okon Effiong further used personal experiences and related stories to talk about the possibility of being used and dumped by politicians.
The high point of the meeting was the interactive session- everyone had the opportunity to make an appeal, share their thoughts and make suggestions on how to have a peaceful election in Rivers State.
The youths used the opportunity to commend CP Okon Effiong for making sure that Christmas and new year celebration was unusually peaceful in every part of Rivers State. Many of them thank the commissioner and his men specifically for reducing crime in the state.
One of the youth leaders appealed to the commissioner to facilitate a meeting with the governor so they can have a direct conversation with him. Another one suggested that the meeting should be taken to senatorial districts so more people can hear the message of peace from the CP’s mouth directly. Another one spoke on the safety of whistle blowers and the confidentiality of their informations. According to him, they are willing to share security informations with the police but they are scared of being hunted.
Reacting to the questions, the commissioner promised to speak to Gov Wike on the need to meet with youth leaders in State. On extending the meeting to the senatorial districts in the State, CP Okon Effiong acknowledged the importance of making the meeting a recurrent event maintaining his commitment to peace and order in the state. The CP also promised to establish a better system for sharing security informations with the police.
The CP ended with an appeal to the youths to partner with the police to achieve a violence free election in Rivers State in 2023.
See photos from the interactive session below