The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has called on security agencies to assist government in enforcing the Anti-Open Grazing Law in the State.
The Governor made the call at Michael Ọkpara Auditorium, Umuahia, while flagging-off the State wide sensitization workshop against criminal activities in Abia communities. According to him, enforcing the law would help reduce the issue of farmers/herders clashes in the State.
Governor Ikpeazu who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, requested the cooperation of stakeholders to ensure government fights and wins the war against criminality in the State.
He charged critical stakeholders especially the Traditional Rulers to live up to expectations, stating that the security of the State is also in their hands.
The State Chief Executive equally called on the people of the state to always avail useful information and intelligence to Traditional Rulers, security agencies and government authorities, saying that the era of not knowing who to report to has gone. He assured that the government is committed to protecting the informants.
The Governor who commended stakeholders for making themselves available for the workshop assured that the State would continue to ensure that her citizens were secured and disclosed that he has been assisting security agencies in the state with vehicles and necessary equipment/gadgets and would sustain the gesture.
In a keynote address, coordinator of the workshop and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Anthony Agbazuere said the workshop was initiated to consolidate Abia State’s status on security and create more awareness among the people of various crimes thereby making it difficult for criminals to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
He further disclosed that the workshop would be taken to the grassroots in the 17 LGAs of the State.
According to him, the primary responsibility of any government is the welfare and security of the people, hence, the need to enlighten the people on how best to report criminal activities.
Dr Agbazuere who said Abia State has maintained tremendous peace since the inception of Governor Ikpeazu’s administration, called on all to cultivate the habit of giving information on criminal flash points in the communities. He informed that security experts were also invited to the workshop to speak on various issues of security in the State.
Presenting their separate lectures, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Janet Agbede, representative of
State Director of Security Services and Director Operations, Mr. Etuk Enang, and representative of the Commandant, 14 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Ohafia, Major O. B Olayiwola, commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for putting together the workshop and for enacting laws against criminality in the State as well as providing vehicles to support the various security agencies.
They emphasized the need for critical stakeholders such as Traditional Rulers to collaborate with government to achieve peace and appreciated Governor Ikpeazu for establishing the farmers/herders conflict resolution committee which has helped in enhancing peace in the State.
They further stressed the need for all to synergize with the government to ensure that security thrives in the state.
The security experts said everybody was the target and beneficiary of the workshop and made a case for all to be conscious of their environment as well as report security issues promptly to the security agencies in the State.
Contributing, the Chairman, Abia State Council of Ndị Eze, Eze Joseph Nwabekee stated that the Igbo culture abhors criminality and urged his fellow Traditional Rulers in the State to deploy the Chiefs, village heads, vigilante groups, youth organizations etc, to ensure peace and tranquility in their communities. He also enjoined them to carry the message of combating and reducing criminal activities in their domains as well as sustain their support for the Governor.
Earlier in his address, the Executive Chairman, Umuahia North Local Government Area, Mr. Ugochukwu Njinkeonye stressed the need for all to embrace peace and ensure security is maintained in the communities, adding that security is for all and should be the responsibility of all. He advised that the messages from the workshop should be taken to various communities.
Also in their various reactions, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Elisha, Chief Uche Akwukwegbu, Saint Moses Ogbonna among other participants stressed the need for the Police to always cooperate with informants in the State. They said that security agencies should build confidence among the people, pointing out that the police should live up to expectations. They emphasised on the need to take the sensitizations to secondary school students also, adding that prosecution of alledged criminals is not effective in the State and called for a change in that direction.