Gov. Mbah with the military Chiefs(Enugu Govt House Photo)
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has pledged military’s readiness and commitment to partnering with the Enugu State government towards the security of lives and property in the state.
This was even as the state governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, identified insecurity as the major obstacle to his administration’s agenda to raise the state’s economy from the present $4.4 billion to $30 billion.
General Irabor said the hierarchy of the Nigerian military services was impressed by the bold security measures so far taken by the governor, assuring that they would play their part in encouraging socio-economic development of the state by enhancing internal security.
The military chief stated this during a courtesy call on the governor and meeting with critical stakeholders at the Government House, Enugu, Tuesday.
He said he was in the state for a review of the impact of the security efforts of the military in the state.
“Your bold statement on security synchronises with our efforts towards ending insecurity. We came to appreciate you for that and to let you know that such steps fall within our purview and that every stakeholder will support it.
“We are here to assure you the armed forces and security agencies will give you all the needed support”, he said.
General Irabor appealed to the traditional rulers, civil society organisations (CSOs), town unions, and all stakeholders to work in synergy with the governor and security agencies to ensure the security of lives and property as no single body or individual could do it alone.
On his part, Governor Mbah, who identified insecurity as the big elephant in the room, however appreciated the Chief of Defence Staff and security agencies in the state for rising to the occasion in the state’s efforts to encourage productivity and enhance the security of lives and property.
“We promised our people that we are going to do things differently, growing our economy in an unprecedented way from $4.4 billion to $30 billion. But this requires making tough decisions.
“We identified the elephant in the room, being insecurity, and its impact, both psychologically, economically, and socially on our people.
“We can’t adopt the present financing model if we must grow the economy exponentially. It has to be private sector driven and one of the indicators of the Ease of Doing Business is security. We have to secure our state, ensure our people work five days in a week in order to convince them of our state’s viability.
“So, we are glad to have you and all the security agencies as our partner and you have assured us that your men will sustain the efforts to improve the security of lives and property in our state”, Mbah stated.
Also speaking, critical stakeholders, representatives, and leaders of various bodies, including the traditional institutions, labour, traders, religious institutions, CSOs, students, among others, while commending Mbah for his gallant efforts in shoring up security and productivity in the state, equally thanked the Chief of Defence Staff for all the assurances given.
They pledged to mobilise their members and subjects towards supporting the efforts to restore Monday as a working day, saying the inability to work on Mondays for some years had seriously affected the economic fortunes of their members and subjects.
“We have agreed amongst ourselves, as traders in Enugu State, to open our markets from 7:30am to 6pm daily, including Mondays.
“It is our duty too to make our people come out by sensitizing and educating them on the gains of working and trading on Mondays”, President, Enugu Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA, Comrade Stephen Aniagu, said.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, HRH Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, who restated the faith of the traditional rulers in the capacity of the Nigerian military to secure the country, reminded the Chief of Defence Staff that the Constitution did not vest powers and control over the armed forces on state governors, urging them to rise to the challenges of insecurity bedeviling the nation.
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Emmanuel Ede. reiterated the readiness of the Church to continue to partner with the Mbah administration and the security agencies to secure Enugu State.