Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), a human and environmental rights group, again, raises concern over the growing spate and surge of insecurity within Abia State even to the point that security agencies are not even left out.
FENRAD condemns strongly the activities of some unidentified hoodlums who in peacetime and broad daylight stormed a police station at Omoba in Isialangwa South Local Government Area killing a police inspector and carting away firearms, as sources said. FENRAD laments this trend and trajectory in crime where police and other security agencies have usually come under attack by unknown gunmen. The trend itself is now becoming not only boundless but almost a commonplace; a daily occurrence. FENRAD recalls that such brazen attacks themselves are the fallout of the highjacked EndSARS protests whereupon hoodlums seized the lull in security to perpertuate and perpetrate crime.
FENRAD urges therefore all security agencies to do the needful in intelligence, surveillance and other tactical measures towards ensuring that the culprits of the Omoba-Umuene Police Station attack are brought to book and rightly prosecuted. Those whose duty it is to protect lives and properties of others should not lose theirs while in their duty line; should not fall victims to what they combat and should not be used for target practice by criminals with such callous impunity and untowardliness. FENRAD condoles with the grieving family, frineds and colleagues of the slain inspector whose killers are still at large.
Also does FENRAD regret that various Points of Sale, otherwise known as POS, are still targeted by criminal groups within Aba axis even after the state government vowed to beef up security and address the growing menace. Warehouses, beer parlours and sundry public places have become target spots these days that it now seems robbery is a norm in Abia State. Even when robbery operations have been “successful”, many have died where also scores sustained various degrees of injuries through sporadic and targetless gunshots.
The rise in cult activities mostly in Aba environs and beyond, where cult boys brazenly walk the streets of towns terrorizing residents and indigens and businesses in the state is a thing of huge worry. Again, not even had the spate of drug and substance abuse abated among the young population most of who constitute recruitable force to be drawn from the rank and file the army of unemployed into cult and such related criminal groups. FENRAD urges state authorities to, as a matter of urgency, track firearms and drugs sectors/corridors of infiltration if this crime is to be minimized.
Isuikwuato, FENRAD laments, has become kidnappers’ lair. Armed herders now take citizens for ransom most of who do not even make it back alive. This, FENRAD learns, has continued unabated. Although there have been reported cases of attack by angry locals against herders where the governor assumed financial responsibility for rustled cattle, FENRAD wants His Excellency to also look into the problems of host communities and do a thorough needs assessment too, especially where farmlands have been destroyed by animals or herders. The trail of tears that has followed Herders/Farmers affair in Nigerian nation space in the last five to six years is entirely condemnable.
Aware that the State House of Assemebly, under the leadership Chinedum Orji, had taken steps towards inviting state security agencies’ heads to appear before its executive members, FENRAD wants the House to be thorough in its inquiry. To this end FENRAD urges that no stone is left unturned and no holds barred as such collaboration can go a long way checking seeming statewide insecurity.
Having said all of these, FENRAD urges the state government to do its utmost in ensuring that lives and properties of both indigens and residents are secure in Abia and parts thereof, it being the constitutional mandate of any subnational entity. FENRAD believes that under the current dispensation Abia can still pull through and come out of these challenges unscathed, but a stitch in time will always save nine, FENRAD says.
Since security is a common good, FENRAD wants parents to do their best in parenting. Even landlords, traditional and religious leaders are all stakeholders in the security task. This is largely so because criminals – like those that have taken up arms against God’s own people – do not fall from the outer spaces. They have communities, whether they be Fulani herders or bad indigens amongst us, they also have churches and come from homes and families. Security, as it is, affects us all, our businesses and lives.
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor.
Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development(FENRAD)