Etche Emerges Best LGA In Nigeria …38 Cultists Surrender Arms
Etche Local Government Area has emerged the best-performing
local government council in Nigeria.
The Tide learnt that a total of 23 Local Government Areas
nationwide were originally shortlisted but were further pruned down to six,
representing the six geo-political
The panel of judges after assessing the performance profile
of the contending six counculunanimously voted Etche Local Government Area of
Rivers as the best in the country.
Presenting the award and a
bus to the council Chairman, the Vice, Hon Sonye Annette Onyesoh said
local governments were adjudged mainly on human capacity and infrastructural development.
Mrs Onyesoh who represented the council in Abuja last
Thursday conveyed the overwhelming encomiums
poured on Etche Council by both the awarding authority and well known
Addressing newsmen, Hon Reginald Ukwuoma expressed shock
that his council’s modest achievements would attract national approval and
pledged to redouble efforts at achieving greater heights.
Meanwhile, the new security measures introduced by
authorities of Etche Local Government Council to check criminalities in the area
yesterday paid off handsomely as 38 cultists belonging to two rival cult groups
surrendered firearms and ammunition to the council’s chairman in embrace of
peace and meaningful life.
The youngmen of ages raging between 18 and 35 years,
believed to be members of two notorious gangs (names withheld), our reporter
learnt, were hitherto, a source of
serious security breaches, thus a
concern to the local government authorities.
The Tide gathered that prior to their surrender which took
place at the council’s headquarters at Okehi, Etche, there were frequent
inter-cult clashes, killing , kidnapping, robbery incidents and other criminal
activities which resulted to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth
several millions of naira.
The development, it was further learnt, informed a drastic
beef-up of internal security by a crack Joint Task Force comprising members of
the Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS), MOPOL, SSS, and Nigerian Civil and Security
The active collaboration among the various security
operatives in the area with the tacit support of the council had led to the
arrest of many suspects who had hitherto made Etche and Omuma areas unsafe for
both indigenes and non-indigenes.
When contacted, the Council Chairman, Hon Reginald Ukwuoma
said the council has persistently been preaching against lawlessness,
criminality in the area by involving all traditional rulers, chiefs, elders and
pressure groups to assist in checking criminal activities in the area.
Soye Wilson Jamabo & Goodluck Ukwe