A group known as the Free Rivers Development Initiative (FRDI) has called on Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), to stop Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, from inaugurating the neighborhood corps.
Wike gave assent to a bill establishing the neighbourhood safety corps on Thursday.
Some of the functions of the corps include detection of crime, arrest of offenders with or without a warrant and bearing arms in performance of their duties, among others.
But speaking with journalists at the weekend, Ngerebala Sampson, president of the FRDI, said the corps is “state police in disguise” which contravenes section 214 of the constitution that established the Nigeria police.
Ngerebala said they are not opposed to Rivers government in taking steps to safeguard the state but it should be done with the collaboration of federal security agencies in the country.
He alleged that Wike would use the corps to not only attack political opponents but rig the 2019 election.
“Having given assent the stage now is set for appointment and inauguration of the members of the safety corps,” the FRDI president said.
“This we know governor Wike in his usual manner will do very soon. We are not opposed to the government of Rivers state taking steps to ensure that everyone in Rivers state is safe.
“That is his constitutional duty. But he must do so in collaboration with already existing federal security agencies in the country.
“Neighbourhood bill passed into law, which he assented to immediately, just to cloth his secret Army with the toga of legitimacy.
“This neighbourhood corps cum/ Rivers state police/Rivers state army will be used by governor Wike to intimidate and harass political opponents cause violence, and killings of political opponents before, during and after 2019 general elections – Rig the 2019 general elections and arrest and prosecute political opponents with a view to keeping them out of circulation before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
“We have it on a very reliable authority that wanted criminals like Solomon Indigbera, cultists, and those on amnesty are the crew of persons that will form the neighbourhood safety corps.”