The Amanyanabo of Abonnema Kingdom and Chairman of Akuku-Toru Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, His Gracious Majesty, King (Barr.), Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel (ii), Owukori(IX), has declared that there will no longer be any form of unrest in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, adding that issues that caused breach of peace were now in the past, because the people have agreed to live peacefully together and say ‘No’ to all forms of criminality including kidnapping, electoral violence, cult related violence, rape among other vices.
The Amanyanabo made the declaration in Abonnema last Saturday during the Akuku-Toru Peace and Security Conference, organized by the Akuku-Toru Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, in collaboration with the Akuku-Toru Local Government Council.
The monarch disclosed that stakeholders had been engaged and efforts were on to ensure proper security in the local government area.
"This Conference is the second event in the series. On the 13th of July, we had a Peace Walk, where we came out in our numbers and expressed our desire to ensure peace and proper security in our LGA.
"Thereafter, we have also met with all the Youths in Akuku-Toru LGA. We had an interactive session on Wednesday (July 31, 2019) where we discussed the causes of breach of peace and ways to ensuring proper security in our LGA.
"Today is the Conference proper where we have obtained memoranda from different interest groups, which we will collate and then issue a communiqué at the end of the day. The interest groups include the Council of Chiefs of all the communities, youth groups of all the communities, politicians, law enforcement agencies etc.
"Akuku-Toru has been peaceful all along, but from time to time we get it wrong. But from now I can assure everybody that issues of the past is past.
"There will no longer be any unrest in Akuku-Toru because we have all agreed to work together as one family. The politicians have agreed to work together as one family, the Chiefs have agreed to work together as one family, the Youths and children have agreed to work together as one family. Therefore I can assure you that issues of breach of peace is a thing of the past," he stated.
The Amanyanabo thanked and commended the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike for his untiring support for the peace and security of the State and Akuku-Toru in particular, noting that the Governor is always available to support the people of Akuku-Toru whenever they called on him.
"I want to seize this opportunity to thank His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State for his untiring support for the peace and security of Rivers State and Akuku-Toru in particular.
"There is no time we call on him that he does not come rushing down to ensure that there is peace in our domain", he added.
The Royal Father enjoined everyone to be peaceful and law abiding, assuring that all the suggestions and memoranda would be properly scrutinized, in order to formulate a formidable guideline for peace and progress in Akuku-Toru that would be the envy of every other local government, out of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.
In his speech, the Governor of Rivers State, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, commended the Amanyanabo of Abonnema for what he described as a laudable initiative, which according to him, the responsibility of maintaining security and fighting criminality is not for government alone, but that the traditional rulers must play their own role in ensuring that there is peace and security in their domains.
The Governor stated that he was aware of the challenges and issues of insecurity and pledged that the State Government would always partner and support any traditional ruler who makes genuine efforts in the pursuit of peace and security in their communities.
Governor Wike reaffirmed his warning that any traditional ruler who failed to take the duty of maintaining peace and security serious in the state will certainly face the consequences.
He charged the Amanyanabo of Abonnema to ensure that every traditional ruler in Akuku-Toru followed his exemplary steps by being directly involved in peace efforts within the LGA.
In his presentation, Pastor Christopher Briggs, said practical steps should be taken to change the current perception that the entire LGA is a flashpoint during elections.
The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Akulga, Mr. Chidi Nzota, commended the Amanyanabo of Abonnema for the initiative of finding lasting solution to the issues of insecurity in the LGA, assuring of the collaboration and support of the security agencies to fight crime in the area.
While appealing to the Youths to shun violence and embrace peace, the DPO further assured that the security agencies would continue to enforce laws, including the decision that would be reached and endorsed by the people at the end of the Conference.
At the Thanksgiving and Reconciliation Service, which held on Sunday, August 4, 2019, at the St. Augustine's Anglican church, Abonnema, the Amanyanabo informed that the essence of the Thanksgiving was to show gratitude to God Almighty for His protection and deliverance, noting that but for God's intervention, the entire LGA would have been consumed in the electoral violence.
He noted that the people of Akuku-Toru have resolved not to have anything to do with any individual or political party who refuses to endorse the peace agreement or breaches it, adding that the people of Abonnema have also resolved that the community would no longer be used as a battlefield to settle disputes, but a safe haven for all.