The new Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Okon Effiong Okon, has said he is an advocate of human rights, saying under his watch the rights of persons would be respected.
Also, Okon vowed to ensure violent free campaigns in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
Okon stated this at his maiden media press briefing at the Police Command’s headquarters along Moscow road, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
CP Okon assumed office as the 43rd Commissioner of Police in the state, succeeding Friday Eboka who has been promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of zone 16, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Okon who is the immediate past Commandant, Police College, Oji River, Enugu State hails from Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The new CP also promised to place a premium on the protection and respect for human rights, especially for the civilian populace across the state.
Okon explained that the police owe it as a responsibility to the good people of Rivers State to ensure a conducive environment.
“Environment where human rights are respected, an environment where people are free to conduct their businesses freely and an environment where people are able to go to sleep with their eyes closed. It is an arduous task and I think it is achievable.
“Rivers State has been relatively peaceful compared with a lot of other states. We will try the best we can to maintain the level of safety and peace existing in the state. Rivers State has paid its dues, and so deserves peace,” he said.
Okon said he would the command under his watch would be proactive, saying, “We will take the battle to them.
“So those who desire that the people of Rivers State will not have peace, themselves will not have peace. We will take the battle to them and smoke them out of their hideouts.
“Now is the best time to come out of crime and other social vices, because Rivers State will not provide a place for you to do what you want to do. We must engage in meaningful activities that will contribute to the growth and development of Rivers State.”
Continuing, he said, “You are quite aware that we are already in the season of elections, campaigns have started. The new electoral law does not give room for thuggery and violence.
“Therefore we will do everything possible to ensure that right from the time of campaigns violence and thuggery are eliminated. People should be able to come out freely to discharge their responsibilities as it portends to electing those to govern them.
“And therefore the processes that are geared towards ensuring elections in this place must be well guided. I call on parents to ensure that they don’t allow their children to be used for thuggery.
“For those who will be caught in this act, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure their prosecution.
“In the same manner we are saying people should stay out of crime, it is the same manner we are saying people should stay out of political thuggery and violence.”