Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has declared that despite the security challenges facing the Niger Delta region, Rivers State, which is ravaged by cult gang violence, is peaceful and clam for investments.
He also called on the United Kingdom to partner with his government in the areas of agriculture and vocational education for job creation.
A statement from his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, made available to The UNION, quoted Wike as saying these Wednesday, when he received British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright.
According to the statement, Gov. Wike also declared that the state was open for partnership with the British government in the area of youth empowerment.
He explained that strategies have been put in place for the enhancement of the security across the state; pointing out that the State and Federal Governments have taken relevant steps to address the challenges posed by militancy in the Niger Delta.
He said that the meeting between Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Niger Delta Governors and the Military High Command mapped out critical measures, including opening up of dialogue channels with the Niger Delta Avengers to resolve recent security challenges.
He blamed the cult related conflicts in the state on oil companies that patronize cult groups to secure their pipelines, instead of working with security agencies. He said such patronage leads to supremacy conflicts between cult groups.
He informed the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom that a particular oil company is responsible for empowering the cult groups, noting that the matter is being addressed.
Governor Wike called on the Government of the United Kingdom to partner with the state to generate mass employment and enhance economic growth.
“We want to partner with the Government of the United Kingdom in the agricultural sector to create jobs for our unemployed youths. Government will continue to create a secure environment to improve the environment for Agriculture. The Mexicans are already here investing in agriculture.
“We also need partnership in the area of vocational education to also create job opportunities for our youths”, he said.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright said that the relationship between the United Kingdom and Rivers State will be deepened.
He said that he was in the state to get firsthand knowledge of developments in the state to identify areas of collaboration.
The governor later led the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom on an inspection of the remodeling of the Brick House and the Chapel within the premises of the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Recall that leadership of the 2 Battalion of the Nigeria Army, had issued a stern warning to cult gangs in the state to disarm and disband or face the full wrath of military action.
The warning became necessary after rival cult gangs went on an unrestrained orgy of killing during which two soldiers attached to the Battalion were gunned down.
The UNION learnt that no fewer than 20 people have been killed in recent times in cult related violence in the state.