Wike stated that the killings and kidnappings in Rivers started during the administration of former governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The governor made the comments during the thanksgiving service at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church in Okrika to commemorate the rescue of Patience Tam-George, the octogenarian mother of the Commissioner of Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, who was held hostage for six days by kidnappers.
But the All Progressives Congress in the state disagreed with the position of the governor, insisting that Rivers was safe under Amaechi’s watch as governor.
Represented by the Secretary to the state government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, the governor said, “We are happy that our mother, Ma Patience Tam-George, did not die in the hand of the kidnappers. The issue of security challenges we are facing was inherited, it is not from us. That is why the governor has encouraged the security agencies to fight crime.
“The governor has zero tolerance for crime. The Amnesty programme, which is also one of the approaches, is to give the cults a second chance.”
Wike called on clerics to tell the youths to shun violence, even as he enjoined the people of the state to support the efforts of the state government in the fight against crime.
Reacting, the state Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Chris Finebone, described as preposterous the statement credited to the state government that kidnapping and killings were inherited from the immediate past administration.
Finebone said contrary to the position of the state government, Amaechi fought crime to a standstill during as a governor.
He said, “That is the most preposterous story to tell. Anybody who lived in Rivers State when Amaechi was governor agreed that Amaechi gave his all to fight insecurity in the state.
“It is possible that Kenneth Kobani (representative of the governor), who had gone on self-exile, did not come down to Rivers to experience the quiet and safe Rivers State then.
“He (Kobani) never lived in Rivers during the time Amaechi was governor. So, he spoke from the angle of lack of experience.”