The Enugu State House of Assembly has passed a motion urging Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to Initiate urgent and decisive actions that will involve all stakeholders in the various communities of the State in the fight against insecurity.
The decision followed a motion moved on the floor of the House on Tuesday by Hon Jeff Mba, member representing Oji River state constituency during a plenary session on Tuesday.
The motion decried the surge of insecurity in recent times in the state despite huge expenditure on security by the Ugwuanyi-led administration to ensure the safety of lives and property in the state..
Recall the recent murder by unknown gunmen of the former Commissioner of Rural Development in the state Hon Ozo Gab Onuzurike, and his elder brother in Oji River as well as the killings in Igboeze North and Isiuzo LGAs
“Given these killing, it has become necessary that a joint effort involving all stakeholders across party lines, hunters, strategic business owners, businessmen, traditional authorities and all security agencies, should combine efforts both in surveillance and collection of intelligence to nip the ugly situation in the bud,” said the lawmaker.
According to him, “the stakeholders involvement should also include appealing to the conscience of our youths to stay out of crime and criminality, as well as reject rascality as a way of life”.
Mba in his three prayers outlined that “this Honourable House urges the Government of Enugu State to set up and equip a joint military, police and forest guard to decisively tackle the menace once and for all especially this Christmas period and thereafter so that we will usher in the New Year on a safety note.
“That permanent check points be established at boundary locations in boundary communities across Enugu State as well as in identified black spots within the state”.
“That Every representative of various Lgs and constituencies including members of Enugu State House of Assembly should be encouraged to Join Hall meeting, organize their stakeholders to be part of sensitization on collection of intelligence as well as moral and financial supports for security in our various communities”.
Hon Iloabuchi Aniagu, representing Nkanu West constituency commended Hon. Mba for moving the motion, anc lamented that communities in Enugu State are undersiege, stressing that hoodlums are now taking advantage of ESN/IPOB activities to cause mayhem in different parts of the state.
According to him, the hoodlums have succeeded intimidating the security agencies especially the police.
“This year’s Christmas will be the worst after the civil war Christmas. South East citizens outside our shores are afraid of coming home for Christmas due to the rise in insecurity. People are now celebrating traditional marriages outside their villages. My friend from Imo State invited me for her daughter’s traditional marriage at Nike. Andy Uba did his daughter’s traditional marriage in Abuja”, he said..
Aniagu advised Enugu State citizens to protect themselves with arms because the state is undersiege. He called on local government chairmen to organize a stakeholders town hall meetings in their various communities to sensitise them, and also synergize with the state government to fight insecurity.
He advised the government to increase the welfare of Nigerian police and equip them very well in other to defend the citizens.
Hon Emeka Mba, representing Igboeze South state constituency, said that he was once a victim. He said attempt had been made on him twice by kidnappers along Eke road and Ugwogo Nike towards Nsukka.
Mba narrated how he luckily escaped and ran inside the bush along with the driver who was later picked by the kidnappers.
“Surprisingly, they picked my driver and for four days he was in the bush. Luckily he escaped and came back alive. As I speak to you Mr. Speaker, the Chief security officer of my local government is still missing despite all efforts government by government to ensure his release.
“Honestly it is becoming alarming and it is becoming difficult sometimes going to the village. Before you cross the road into your own very house, you first of all look left, right and centre and even to sleeping in the night has become difficult.
Hon Onyinye Ugwu, and Hon Innocent Ugwu members representing Enugu South rural constituency and Igboeze North 2 constituency respectively supported the motion, saying that the problem of insecurity in Enugu emanated from various communities in Enugu State.
They complained how hoodlums in their various communities have risen to form groups known as ‘Umuchineke’ and ‘Odoziobodo’ were they hijack activities in their various communities and forcefully collect money from people before any activity will be done.
They called on government to set up a committee comprising of neighborhood watch, security guards and external security stakeholders/ intelligent security personnel from external Communities that will monitor each other, then equip them with security gadgets that will enable them do their work very well.
The deputy Speaker Hon Uche Ugwu, member representing Udi North constituency in supporting the motion emphasized that some members of the communities collaborate with the hoodlums to fuel insecurity, but stressed on the existence of external aggressors.
According to him “In some circumstances, some people have seen some herdsmen parading arms, very sophisticated arms. Yes, it is not just a local problem. Some people have hinted us that it is a war situation. The aggressors are here and hoodlums have also taken advantage of the situation to make sure that they perpetrate mayhem on our people.
“My advice is for us to defend ourselves. We cannot continue to hide from this truth. We have a war situation. In my community and communities around my community, there are dens of robbers, they pay ransom and collect ransoms but I have to say my people have taken some steps. We are not cowards.
“My people have risen up to the challenges. When you come to my community, you will know that men are still around. He encouraged leaders/stakeholders, traditional rulers and youths not to allow themselves to be used by non -state actors.”