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…urge more ruthlessness with kidnappers, enforcers of sit-at-home

Enugu – Traditional rulers across the state have commended the state governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, over his laudable security measures since assumption of office, assuring his administration of their unswerving cooperation in strengthening community policing in their respective communities.

The royal fathers who converged on Wednesday on the House of Chief chamber at the Enugu State House of Assembly Complex further urged the governor to be more ruthless in flushing out kidnappers and enforcers of sit-at-home order, stressing that such aberrations were not known to the Igbo people.

At the interactive session with the governor, the traditional institution charged Mbah to deploy joint security operatives across different communities in the state in order to reinforce the confidence of their subjects so that they could go about their normal businesses.

They lamented that the illegal Monday sit-at-home order being enforced by some criminal elements to intimidate innocent residents did not represent the true identity of what the Igbo people were.

Explaining to the governor that they had resolved to support possible stringent measures that his government deemed proper to secure the state and make it the choice destination for investment and hub of industrialisation in the Southeast zone, the traditional rulers assured of their readiness to take charge of their communities as chief security officers.

Some of the traditional rulers who spoke on behalf of their senatorial districts included Igwe Simon Osisi Itodo, Igwe RSN Eze, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, Igwe Godwin Madu, Igwe Julius Nnaji, Igwe Greg Ugwu, among others.

They noted that kidnapping incidents and other security breaches in the state, particularly along the Nike-Ugwogo-Nsukka road had been flushed out as a result of the timely security response by the governor, enjoining him to keep up with the pace.

“Enugu State and all the traditional rulers in the state are behind any decision you are taking to secure the state against enforcers of illegal sit-at-home order and other hoodlums. We are glad you are walking the talk, and security in the state has significantly improved.

“At Ugwogo Nike, we now feel safe with your security measures unlike what we used to have in the past. Your security architecture is clearing all the hurdles. We want you to reinforce community policing like the Neighbourhood Watch.

“We are equally appealing to the Governor to ensure that there is presence of security personnel in every street and community especially on their purported sit-at-home days. This will build the confidence of our people to come out and go about their normal transactions,” the royal fathers said.

They also called on Governor Mbah to sanction erring public servants and other business owners who refuse to go to work or open their businesses for transactions.

“Let there be consequences for those who refuse to work on Mondays and other days.

“You should also consider making us the chief security officers of our various communities and see us act. Hold us responsible for security breaches in our domains,” they added.

Speaking earlier, Governor Mbah informed the royal fathers that the meeting was convened to appreciate them for their support during the election and to also brief them on the security measures taken so far to rid the state of criminal elements and attract the promised investments to the state.

The governor who stressed that the only way to make the state the premier destination for investment, eradicate poverty, build theme parks, attract over three million tourists every year, provide employments for the youths, and move the state’s gross domestic product from its current $4.4 to $30 billion was by ending insecurity posed by hoodlums hiding under the guise of sit-at-home to hurt the economy and inflict pain on the citizens.

He said the war against the criminals could only be won with the support of the traditional rulers by talking to their subjects to avoid being used by criminals from other states who operate from somewhere in Finland and other countries, and by taking charge of the security of their communities.

Noting that sustainable development, peace and security are mutually reinforcing, the governor expressed readiness to partner with the traditional rulers to combat insecurity through strengthening community policing, deployment of technology and intelligence gathering and sharing.

He said the only way private investors would be interested in the state was by making sure that the state is safe for investment, saying that it’s time to eradicate any impression or perception of insecurity in the state through adequate collaboration.

“We cannot concede to those we didn’t give our mandate to direct our affairs. If you have not given anyone your mandate to lead you, they should not direct you. We must tell them they have no right to direct our affairs.

“You know our plan to make Enugu the premier destination for investment. We cannot do it alone. It begins with forging a common front to address the big elephant in the room – sit-at-home – escort it out of Enugu and tell it there is no room for it in Enugu State. You should talk to your children and subjects to also go about their routine businesses.

“We must challenge the temerity of anyone telling us to sit at home even when their own state is not observing sit-at-home.

“As you know, we are in a hurry to fulfil our promises to develop Enugu and drive it to take back its pride of place in the commity of states. We promised to provide water in 180 days, and we know it’s remaining about 134 days. Some places have already started having water in their homes. We will extend our water scheme to all the parts of the state through boreholes, solar-powered water schemes, among other technologies,” the governor added.

He urged the people to ignore the false impression being created on social media by the few hoodlums and their accomplices, saying their weapon was to create panic and instil fear through fake news.

Governor Mbah reiterated that the government had already identified the hoodlums, going after them in all fronts and is defeating them through its modern security architecture.

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