ABIA COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, OTHERS VISIT UMUNNEOCHI, APPRECIATE OTTI’S EFFORTS IN CURBING KIDNAPPING
Abia State Commissioner of Police, CP Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, has lauded Governor Alex Otti for the success so far recorded in curbing the spate of insecurity that had rocked Abia, prior to the Governor’s assumption of office on May 29, 2023.
CP Onwuemelie said the institution of good governance by Governor Otti’s administration has helped security agencies in the state rise up to the occasion in combating criminal elements in the state.
The Commissioner of Police stated this at the weekend when he led a team of the Operation Crush to two schools taken over by kidnappers in Lekwesi community, Umunneochi Local Government Area, in company of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Commander MacDonald Uba (Rtd.).
According to the CP, there is a connection between good governance and security. He said the schools visited have been dilapidated for a long time, adding that reconstruction of the schools would make it difficult for criminals to make use of them as dens.
“There is a connection between good governance and security. We can tell you that from what we have experienced in the past seven months, good governance has come back to Abia.
“Beyond that or in addition to that, you can see collaboration among security forces, the military, Police and all other security agencies are working hand in glove with the support of this government.
“We assure the people of Abia State that we would put in our best to make sure that the vision of the Governor for a safe and secure Abia State is accomplished,” the CP said.
CP Onwuemelie further said that the entire area is vast and the culverts seen in the bushy areas could be used to hide victims.
“Because, if you are not aware that those culverts are there and you are passing by, you just pass on on top. There is a possibility that any structure that provides cover can be used to hide kidnapped victims including the culvets but we must also tell you that in the past seven months the challenge of kidnapping has been tackled very well in Abia State.
Also Speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Commander Macdonald Uba said the kidnappers took the advantage of roads that were not done around the schools in that area by successive administrations in the State to take over the schools as their den. He said that Abia State Government would do the road and reactivate the schools so that the kidnappers would have to leave the environment. He said since the people of the community have seen what Governor Otti is doing in that area in terms of security, they should continue to give timely information to government and security operatives.
Contributing, the Mayor of Umunneochi LGA, Mr. Ndubuisi Ike, said kidnapping in the area has significantly reduced compared to how it was before the emergence of Governor Alex Otti. He said they want to leverage technology to ensure that the incidences of kidnapping in the area are dealt with.
The Mayor of Umunneochi, who said that the kidnappers vandalised the schools and wanted to dominate the area a few years ago, appreciated Governor Otti, the security agencies for what they have done so far to keep Umunneochi safe from the hands of kidnappers, who they said were from outside of Abia and Southeast.
“The Governor has been very supportive. There is nothing we need on security that he has not provided. It is a war we are steadily wining, it is a war we are determined to win. And soon we are hopeful that with the help of the CP, the Governor, the security architecture in the State, we will return Umunneochi to normalcy,” the Mayor said.
Some members of the community including Stephen Udeogu, Mr. Njoku Augustine and Chief Anthony Akuma narrated how good life was being enjoyed before the kidnapping incidents started. They informed that upon the invasion of the Lekwesi Secondary School by kidnappers, the students were moved to Lekwesi Primary School, where the kidnappers equally chased the pupils out and occupied the schools and started using them as kidnap den.
They appreciated the effort of Governor Alex Otti to arrest the menace and assured that the Umunneochi communuty would cooperate with government and security men to ensure total security of their communuties.
Asst. Head of Information/Press,
Govt. House, Umuahia.