Senator Uche Lilian Ekwunife (IYOM), representing the people of Anambra Central Senatorial Districts of Anambra State has decried the incessant cases of criminality in Anambra State. She passionately noted:
“I write to address you today with a deep sense of responsibility due to the recent security challenges in our dear state.
“We are all living witnesses to the incessant attacks on security operatives in the state by a yet to be identified group.
“Regrettably, killing, stealing of riffles and looting of armouries of the Nigerian Police and other security operatives were recorded across the state. Another worrisome development is the gory spate of cult related violence across the state. Criminality should not be condoned, hence, I condemn in its entirety the attack on our uniformed men by various criminal elements. This is an attack on the state, and we must all rise to protect the state from descending into anarchy.
“I deeply regret the loss of lives of various security operatives in the state and want to assure Ndi Anambra that as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will work with both the federal and state government to ensure that this depressing security situation is completely brought under control, and those involved made to face the full wrath of the law.
“It is true that there is no alternative to peace. Development and the local economy thrive in an atmosphere of peace and the protection of lives and property. This said, the ugly situation should not be allowed to get worse because if it does, it will take its toll on our local economy and no one would be exempted from the brunt.
“No government can achieve meaningful strides in its development when the unemployment rate is at a record high, hence the first step in ameliorating the security situation in the state is to create jobs massively.
“You may recall that, in my new year message, I stated that human capital development is the bedrock of society. I equally assured support for micro, small and medium enterprises, describing them as crucial components to the stability and growth of any economy. I still religiously hold firmly to these beliefs and will not recede.
“However, in order to enable an effective security system that will flush out criminal activities like kidnapping, cultism, and robbery it is necessary to focus on:
“Criminals are not aliens. They are members of our communities. Someone certainly knows something about their activities. It is pertinent that the government provide a seamless and protected information channel so that citizens will feel secured to share timely security information to security operatives. Technologies which will enhance intelligence gathering should also be deployed by the state.
“COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL VIGILANTE AND COMMUNITIES
“While it is true that the Nigerian Police is saddled with the enormous responsibility to secure and fight crime, alongside other law enforcement agencies, the public has a role to play in crime prevention. Because the locals have a greater knowledge of their communities and terrains, it’s important to ensure synergy between the Nigerian Police, local vigilante and communities to define and develop lasting solutions to security problems.
“EQUIPMENT UPGRADE AND SECURITY TRAINING
“It is necessary to upgrade the equipment and apparatus of all security operatives within the state to reflect the challenges and technology of the time. Patrol vans, armouries, security cameras and training for security operatives in the state need to be improved upon. Proper policing entails continuous training to update the officers on the ever changing behaviours of criminals to enable themDr become more proactive.
“Creating a database to warehouse information on arrested, convicted and prospective criminals is necessary to ensure that crime is nipped in the bud. The issue of crime has been haunting the state for years now, partly because criminals evade punishment and work freely without any data available about them to ensure justice.
“CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
“An effective criminal justice system is necessary for maintenance of law and order. If criminals know that the long arm of the law will catch up with them, it will discourage potential criminals and make the existing criminals take a new turn. This approach will greatly discourage intended offenders knowing that the robust justice system in the state must surely catch up with them.
“I call on parents, traditional and religious leaders to rise up and ensure that their wards are trained under the best moral values. The security issues we have in the state at the moment are directly linked to the failure of the society and governance. Unfortunately, the family, the smallest social unit, has broken down leading to a mass of children that are released to society with less parental care and guidance. I advice parents to pay more attention to their children.
“Let me express my conviction that Anambra will overcome these challenges if we are strategic enough and follow a methodological approach towards addressing these issues. There is no better time for Ndi Anambra to unite for the greater good of the state than now. Thank you all and may God bless us.”