The Akwa Ibom State government says it has started the recruitment of 5,000 youths from political groups used during crowd control at rallies.
Governor Umo Eno stated that rather than mobilise the groups only for crowd control during political rallies, they would be employed as neighbourhood watch.
Speaking on Tuesday in Uyo during a media parley, Eno stated that the decision was to contend with the growing rivalry among the group which might in future snowball into a societal menace.
He explained that the recruitment process would include the training and profiling of the selected youths with the police and State Security Service (SSS) who would serve as neighbourhood watch in their different communities.
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The governor said, “What we want to do is to make sure our crowd control people go into the neighbourhood and we pick from each ward, each unit. If I am coming to your village, I don’t have to bring crowd control from Uyo. Your village should be able to have people who have been trained to do crowd control.
“At least if we can create 5,000 jobs, that’s ongoing right now. Very soon, we will train them and profile them to the police and DSS; that is how LASTMA in Lagos was formed. They used them for crowd control.
“Let these people go to their local government areas and if they are serious, we will take them to the headquarters level. I know that there is recruitment going on right now, but we are doing it quietly and very soon we will have these neighbourhood watchers,” he added.