Despite a raft of measures by the police and other security agencies in Abia State, traditional rulers say there is little respite from hoodlums. SUNNY NWANKWO reports
To say the police and other security arms are not fighting crime in Abia State is to twist facts. Still, traditional rulers in Aba, the state’s commercial capital, say they are a long way from safety. That much they told the state commissioner of police Adeleye Oyebade at a meeting, urging him to ramp up security in the state.
The monarchs knew that security agents have not been sitting on their arms. They have gone after kidnappers, knocking down, on one occasion, one of their hideouts on the precincts of Aba. The military has also tracked down oil thieves in the bush and set their camp on fire, though by the time they arrived, the outlaws had fled. So many robbers and car thieves, even child traffickers, have also been nabbed. In fact, the police periodically brief the press and announce their successes in anti-crime fighting.
But the traditional rulers are not fooled. They told Oyebade that on account of insecurity they cannot meet with their council of chiefs or with other monarchs. They could be kidnapped. In fact, traditional rulers in Aba North Local Government Area of the state are worried and want the police to protect them.
The rulers made their appeal to Oyebade when he visited the palace of the chairman Aba North Local Council Traditional Rulers HRH Eze Love Nwogu at Ogbor Hill, Aba.
The traditional rulers who spoke through their secretary told the state commissioner of police that they were worried by the increase in crime within the Aba metropolis and its environs.
They further told the police boss that the increase in crime in Aba has put their lives under threat, adding that insecurity in the council area has equally affected their meeting time which they said could not give them the opportunity to properly discuss issues affecting their communities.
The traditional rulers however expressed their readiness to partner with the police and other security agencies in the state in fighting crime in their respective communities.
Oyebade assured the traditional rulers of their safety, adding that the police were doing their best to ensure there is peace in Aba and its environs.
The police chief shared some of the achievements recorded by the command under his watch, disclosing that the police command in Aba and Umuahia are working collaboratively with other sister agencies in the state to ensure that crime was reduced in various parts of the state.
According to Oyebade, the recently launched Tactical Response Squad (TRS) with its operational base at Abayi Police Divisional Headquarters would complement efforts of their men in other squads already on the ground in Aba in tackling activities of hoodlums in the city.
The state police boss thanked the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris for giving the command two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu for paying some allowances to the officers in the state.
He said that it was the desire of the command that Abians and visitors to the state would go about their businesses freely and to sleep with their eyes closed. Oyebade urged members of the public to provide the police with useful information about the activities of hoodlums in their areas, stressing that the police whose response to distress calls have improved would not hesitate to come to their rescue at all time.