THE recent destruction of kidnappers’ den in Oba, Idemili-South Local Government Area of Anambra State has indeed shown that Anambra is in dire need of watertight security. Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo on his part has displayed an uncommon intrepidity and bravery by taking the fight to the kidnappers’ hideout to secure citizens from their treachery and to also tell the world that Anambra State is no longer a home for all but now a home for responsible Nigerians.
Soludo’s avowed commitment to reclaim the integrity of Anambra State as the safest state in Nigeria is crystal clear, especially with his vision of a liveable and prosperous new state where the citizenry will not live in fear but in a very tranquil atmosphere flowing with milk and honey.
Ever since the killing of a sitting lawmaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly and a host of others, coupled with kidnap of innocent citizens in recent times in the state, as well as the relocation of venues for party primary elections to the state capital, Awka, due to volatility of the hinterlands, the governor has resolved to make Anambra State uncomfortable for hoodlums who are bent on truncating public peace.
To this end, the present administration has issued a red card to any building suspected of harbouring criminal elements as well as mandated citizens to say something whenever they see or hear something especially something sinister or inimical to public order. The police, local vigilantes, other security agencies, traditional rulers, town unions and other stakeholders are not left out in the governor’s resolve to protect lives and properties from men of the underworld.
As a result, the police in its rescue operations across Anambra State has freed many a victim from captivity. Recently, the police stormed kidnappers ‘camp at Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area and rescued a business man held hostage. While engaging his captors in a gun duel, the police killed the gang leader.
Police operatives have also busted one GallyGally Hotel at Nkpor, Idemili-North Local Government Area of Anambra State, where they rescued 35 underage girls used as sex slaves, prostitutes, baby sellers and what have you. This, to a large extent, is a vivid portrayal of Prof. Soludo’s administration’s commitment to stamp out criminality and reclaim the integrity of Anambra State as the safest state in Nigeria.
While commending the efforts of the state government in stamping out crime and criminality in the state, Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP IkengaTochukwu Anthony maintained that police will never allow disgruntled elements take over Anambra State. The police spokesman said all hands are on deck to tackle crime as they emerge and that police is always evolving new strategies to fight crimes.
According to him, Anambra citizens have been helpful to the police, providing useful intelligence aiding their operations, adding that the state government placed curfew in some local government areas as security measures to address incessant security breaches in those areas.
Chief Chris Udeze, who was the Coordinator of Community Vigilantes under the Peter Obi administration and currently the national coordinator of Community Policing Partners said Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has done everything humanly possible to assuage, as well as calm frayed nerves with respect to the agitations for Biafra and as well, visited the IPoB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in detention but according to him, it has become a clear act of criminality which cannot be condoned by anybody, stressing that the battle to the strongholds of the criminals was the best thing that could ever happen in the present circumstance.
Udeze said the governor did the right thing and that all it takes is intelligence to unravel where the criminals are to round them up and that he believes very strongly that the governor’s security strategies will yield more positive results even though he was worried that the problem with security in the state was that people could strike from a stronghold and still withdraw to their stronghold without molestation or challenge by anybody which is why they carry out their operations with impunity across Anambra State.
Udeze said that the governor’s decision to strengthen and revitalise local vigilante was another plus for him because security deals with information and intelligence gathering, even though he was worried that the trouble with Anambra State Vigilante Service is coordination.
He said vigilantes are not properly coordinated and there should be a network of information flowing from vigilante operatives to security agencies. That he is fully in support of the bold step taken by Prof. Charles ChukwumaSoludo to fight hoodlums to a standstill, stressing that the governor’s decision will achieve laudable results.
Comrade Osita Obi, convener of Recover Nigeria Project was of the opinion that Governor Soludo was not the only governor in Anambra State to destroy kidnappers’ hideout. Obi stated that ex-governors Peter Obi and Chief Willie Obiano have at different occasions, destroyed buildings suspected to be criminal hideouts.
However, he suggested that community vigilantes must be actively involved in the fight against criminality. Obi also suggested that the governor should begin to implement the policy of holding traditional rulers and presidents-general responsible for crimes committed in their respective communities.