By IHECHINYERE CHIGEMERI-UWOM
UMUAHIA- Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has expressed the resolve of the government to utilise community policing in tackling insecurity in Umunneochi Local Government Area (LGA).
Ikpeazu expressed the commitment during the inauguration of a Special Security Committee at the Government House, Umuahia.
The governor said that the location of Umunneochi at the nexus of southeastern states made it vulnerable to trans-border crimes.
According to him, it becomes pertinent for Abia Government to change its approach against insecurity by setting up an all-inclusive machinery that involved members of communities in Umunneochi, to record improvement.
He said the mandate of the committee included intelligence gathering and setting up systems that would facilitate the arrest as well as prosecution of criminal elements in the area.
Ikpeazu urged the committee to deepen intelligence gathering about the activities of residents, as well as visitors within and around the community.
He urged the committee to be firm in ensuring that any citizen conniving with criminal elements would be identified and dealt with according to the law.
Ikpeazu said the state government was open to positive collaboration with agencies willing to support the initiative.
He said that government would provide motorcycles, patrol vehicles and other resources that would give impetus to the operations of the committee.
Ikpeazu further said that plans were underway to replicate the initiative in Isiukwuato and Ukwa West local government areas, to collapse the flash points in the areas.
He called on the committee to collaborate with neighbouring communities in nearby states to ensure that trans-border crimes would be reduced to the barest minimum.
Responding on behalf of other members of the committee, Eze Okechukwu Chukwudi of Amuda Kingdom, said members of the committee were poised to deliver the mandate given to them.
Chukwudi, who is also the chairman of the committee, said that it would evolve a work plan, based on its mandate, to adequately tackle insecurity in the area.
Chief Chikamnayo Eze, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, later expressed government’s commitment to take proactive steps against security issues.
Eze, who is also the secretary of the committee, described the Special Security Committee as an initiative, proposed as solution to the insecurity problem in Umunneochi.
“This initiative has been introduced to make sure that the people of Umunneochi take charge of their security apparatus in collaborative efforts with security agencies,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that other members of the committee include Mr Okey Philip Igwe, Chief Ifeanyi Madu, Chief Ezekwesiri Ikedi and Fabian Nwankwo.
Others are Chief Emeka Madubuike, Mr Azubuike Adams, Mrs Grace Ibeh, Eze Earnest Onwuka, Alhaji Yaro Danladi and Mr Sopuruchi Bekee.(NAN)