Ben Ezechime, Enugu
Mr Frank Nweke Jr., the Governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in March 18, 2023 Election for Enugu State, has suggested moves to tackle the spate of insecurity in the state.
Nweke, who said this in a Security Advisory he released in Enugu on Wednesday, expressed worries over the increasing rate of criminality in the state, describing the situation as a disturbing trend.
He pointed out in the advisory that security remained a paramount issue “that must not be politicised, downplayed, or used as a tool for propaganda in the media.”
The former minister of Information said he strongly condemned the attacks on children, women, workers, and all residents of Enugu State for going about their daily businesses.
He said: “The determination to keep our people in a stranglehold of fear does no good for anyone, including those perpetrating, patronising, and promoting these movements.
“The realisation of a South-East that works for her citizens and residents cannot be achieved by stifling the run of business and social life.”
According to him, the security of lives and property in Enugu State remained a collective responsibility of both the government and the citizens at large.
He said that stakeholders’ engagement across all levels must be a priority for the present administration in the state alongside covert intelligence gathering operations.
He noted that those who commit those crimes across the state were not ghosts.
“It is critical that close engagement happens at all levels in our communities to intercept the actions of criminals and their sponsors. Decisive actions must then follow.
“The introduction of a new Distress Rapid Response Squad is commendable, and it is essential that they are fully supported for improved strategic, tactical, and combat operations.
“There must be a strategic prioritisation of key areas to cover for patrol operations,” Nweke said.
He described as top priority the protection of children in schools, adding that security personnel should be deployed to schools across the city, especially the public schools that have been mandated to stay in session.
He further said that the Universal Basic Education Commission and the Post-Primary Schools Management Board must put in place a security protocol through which primary and secondary schools could escalate security breaches as they occur.
“In consideration of the sub-optimal police to citizen ratio, the administration must immediately embrace the upgrade or creation of State controlled security outfits to be trained by the statutory security agencies and work in collaboration with them toward the fulfillment of all adopted security measures.
“It is also critical that a Situation Room is immediately set up with adequate personnel to monitor security activities in the state and keep track with security agencies across the board.
“While working with whatever is available at the moment, there must be ongoing investments in technology as it remains a key factor to securing lives and properties in the state,” he said.
He called for close collaboration by the South-East states to tackle the political, economic and social challenges that fueled the actions of non-state actors such as IPOB, ESN and the so-called unknown gunmen.