Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has declared 32 cultists wanted in a state broadcast and asked the security agencies to go after them, putting a bounty of N20m each for information that could lead to their arrest.
The total reward is N640million, N440million more than what the governor offered for the arrest of Don Wani, the kidnap kingpin and cultist, linked with the killing of 23 people in Omoku on New Year’s Day.
The broadcast was a celebration of the killing of the criminal, whose real name was Johnson Igwedibia. He was killed by the military on Saturday at a hideout in Enugu.
According to Wike, 32 cultists remain in 12 local government areas in the state and had reneged on the terms of amnesty offered them by his government.
He listed them and said he wanted all of them arrested and prosecuted by the security agencies, pledging all assistance necessary.
“Based on reliable information by the security agencies, I hereby direct them to immediately arrest and prosecute the under-mentioned persons who have either reneged on the terms of the amnesty and or refused to embrace same by continuing with cultism, kidnapping and armed robbery in the state,” the governor said.
“The Rivers State Government will pay N20 million to any person who volunteers useful information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of any of the afore-mentioned persons. Since 2015, we have been calling for tackling security issues devoid of political considerations in Rivers State in order to achieve maximum result,’’ he added
Governor Wike wanted to end the era of criminals running colonies in the state as he warned them to leave the state or risk facing the death sentence.
His government is proposing an amendment of the State Anti-kidnapping Law, which prescribed death sentence for criminals involved in cultism, robbery and kidnapping.
Wike warned that the State Government has zero tolerance for crime and criminal activities, adding that his administration will continue to adopt measures to protect lives and property in the state.