The Unyeada Community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers, says it is surprise about the expression of fears by some sections of the public, over security concerns in the area.
The development had resulted to the cancellation of the community’s proposed 2020 annual fishing festival.
Mr Thank-God Abbey, Unyeada’s Vice Chairman, Community Development Committee (CDC), expressed surprise on the development, during an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Port Harcourt.
He however assured that members of the community would continue to remain committed to efforts by government toward ensuring security of lives and properties.
Recalled that the State Government, through its Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, had earlier warned the public against attending a proposed fishing festival, slated for July 6, 2020 in Unyeada.
It had in a statement on Friday, June 26, said that poor security situation around the area had prompted its decision to kick against the proposed event.
Expressing surprise on the government’s stance on issues of insecurity in Unyeada community and Andoni in general, the vice chairman explained that the area was currently enjoying relative peace and co-existence.
He therefore, advised against over-exaggerating security related matters, adding that such action had in the past, painted the area as a very volatile part of the state.
Abbey however, urged relevant security agencies to channel available security apparatus to the area, to improving on the safety of lives and properties in the riverside communities.
According to him, security challenge was not peculiar to the area.
“Presently, Unyeada and its environ is peaceful but as peace loving people, we cannot afford to disobey authorities and so we shall abide by the government’s order, we have decided to cancel the proposed 2020 fishing festival.
“The festival over the years had been an annual ceremony. It is usually observed on July 6 and as migrant fishermen, the festival as the name implies has always been a period of merriment for us.
“The festival often avails us the opportunity to showcase our fishing exhibitions, skills and prowess, it also gives us a joyful expedition to reminiscence on the achievements of our founding fathers in the fishing trade,” Abbey said.
On the issue of dead fishes recently found on the shores of some fishing settlements, the vice chairman said that the incident was not new to fishermen.
“The menace of deaths of fishes is actually not strange to us, but what was worrisome was the quantity of fishes that were recently being affected.
“This time around, the number of dead fishes was huge. It is indeed alarming and it also affected mostly a specific specie commonly known as the (broke marriage),” he added.
In the past, we usually consume such dead fishes if found, but this year, because of the high quantity affected, we know it is something very related to pollution and so we advised our people against consuming them.
So far, the State Government had collected samples of the dead fishes and had yet to come up with the cause of deaths of the fishes and possible solution to check a reoccurrence.