Former President Goodluck Jonathan has told the Rivers Government that the cooperation of the Federal Government must be sought before establishing the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency.
Jonathan said that when a state government is setting up a volunteer service to manage the security situation, the police and Army within the state must give their maximum cooperation.
The former President, however, promised to interface with President Muhammadu Buhari over the matter to ensure an amicable resolution of the impasse between the Army and the Rivers State Government in the interest of the security of the state.
Jonathan also commiserated with the government and people of the state over the collapse of a 7-Storey building in Port Harcourt that led to the loss of some lives.
The former President, who was in Port Harcourt on Saturday, was accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan.
He spoke at the site of the collapsed 7-storey building at Woji road in New GRA, Port Harcourt.
He said, “I will take it up with Mr President to see how we will resolve the matter amicably in the interest of our people.
“If you don’t have the cooperation of volunteers working with the security services, we will not be able to manage the security situation.
“If a state is setting up a volunteer service to manage the security situation, we expect cooperation from the police and the Army within the state.
“If there are any issues that should be cleared, I expect the Commissioner of Police and the General Officer Commanding to meet with the Security Adviser to the Rivers State Governor to discuss these grey areas.
“These are extremely riverine states. Apart from the Navy, 60 percent of the personnel of the other security services cannot swim. Managing security in these states require the locals.
“When we set up the Bayelsa Volunteers, we worked with the Police to reduce piracy in the state. I have realised that without the locals, you cannot succeed in terms of managing security anywhere,” Jonathan said.
He recalled that as a President he allowed the setting up of the Civilian Joint Task Force to work with the military to tackle Boko Haram insurgency, saying that the decision helped so much.