Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has declared open a 2-Day Security Summit in Abia State with a firm commitment towards implementing workable and responsive recommendations for improved security in the state.
Governor Ikpeazu who was speaking while declaring the Summit open in Umuahia, the Abia State capital noted that his administration was fine-tuning the existing Abia State Vigilantee Law to complement efforts of the Abia State Homeland Security outfit in readiness of being deployed for strategic security operations based on the recommendations of the Summit.
The Governor said, “my thoughts for Ebubeagu is that it should be the intelligence gathering arm of the security architecture of the South East supported by the Hunters Association and every other group that depends on the bushes and forests for their living on a daily basis.
“The ongoing exercise of flushing out criminals from our forests will be steady until the State gets rid of criminal elements from across our bushes and forests in Abia”.
The State Chief Executive said that remarkable success has been made in the efforts towards deploying ICT in the fight against crime through the Abia CPAMS Initiative conceptualized to take records of criminals through the use of Apps on internet-enabled phones.
“This government has tried to deploy science and technology in the fight against crime. It is my intention to ultimately rest it on the shoulders of the various LGA Chairmen who will have the responsibility of making sure that the geographical entities they superintend over are well supervised and adequate security Intel and report made available timeously”, the Governor said.
Continuing, Ikpeazu stated that “At the end of the day, I want us to have an idea of where we are going. For instance, what do we do with Ebubeagu? What do we do with Homeland Security? What do we do with Abia Vigilantee Service? And how do we integrate them with what is existing already?”
While describing Traditional Rulers as critical stakeholders in the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit, Governor Ikpeazu directed Chairmen of the 17 LGAS of the State to also take ownership of security within their various geographical coverage.
He noted that the over centralization of the security architecture of Nigeria has been counter productive.
The Governor also suggested that the office of the National Security Adviser summons trustees of the various cult groups registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to impress on them the need to rein in their youth wings that are terrorizing secondary and tertiary institutions in the country or face sanctions.
He commended law enforcement officers in the state for their gallantry, but expressed concern over the unchecked movement of armed herdsmen into farms and communities leading to recurring herders-farmers clashes.
He also noted that the latest robbery incident leading to the loss of the life of a security personnel along Mission Hill in Umuahia was a product of the activities of criminal elements who took advantage of the ungoverned space created by the activities of “unknown gun men” who are working on destroying existing institutions of civil order.
In his remarks, a former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) assured the Governor of his preparedness and that of his colleagues towards coming up with implementable resolutions that will help address the prevailing security situations in the state.
General Ihejirika while assuring that Abia State has a formidable security council comprising of all security agencies in the state comprising of highly qualified and competent senior law enforcement officials, noted that Abia is sure of improving its security architecture through the roundtable discussions christened Abia Security Summit.
Others who attended the Summit’s opening ceremony include the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, Members of the State Executive Council, Heads of Security Services in Abia State, current and retired Security Agents of Abia origin from the rank of Assistant Commisioner of Police and its equivalent in other Armed Services, Traditional Rulers and Executuve Chairmen of LGAs.
Communique of Abia State Security Roundtable
The Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu ably Represented by the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu.
Mr. Chairman, permit me to stand on existing protocol
I have before me the Communique issued at the end of the Abia State Security Summit held from 26th to 28th May, 2021 at the Conference Hall of The Hotel Royal Damgrate, Abia State.
The Abia State Government conscious of its primary constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of its citizens and visitors, convened a Three-Day Stakeholders Summit on Security to brainstorm with experts on the subject and proffer solutions on how to sustain a peaceful and safe Abia State.
The Summit had in attendance the Governor of the State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, his Deputy, Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly and all members of the State Security Council, Heads of all Security Agencies in the State, Chairman of Local Government Areas and their Deputies, State Chairman of Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers and his Deputies, Chairmen of Traditional Rulers Advisory Council in Local Government Areas, and all retired officers of Abia origin of the Army, Police, Navy, Airforce and Department of State Services from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent.
At the end of the deliberations Chaired by Lieutenant General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika CFR, the following resolutions were arrived at by the Summit;
1. The Summit commended Abia State Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD for the thoughtfulness of convoking the State Roundtable Security Summit tagged: ABIA STATE SECURITY SUMMIT 2021 and for inviting senior security officers of Abia State origin to avail the State of their experience and expertise.
2. The Summit commended the Abia State Government for its untiring efforts so far in tackling headlong security situation in the State through credible support to security agencies in the State, constant interface and interactions as well as launching of a number of homegrown solutions to the problem of insecurity.
3. The Summit commended law enforcement officers serving in Abia State for their professionalism and dedication to their duty even in the face of obvious targeted attacks and urged them to remain steadfast in their primary responsibility of securing the state and its citizens.
4. The Summit condemned in very strong terms the attacks on security formations in the State and commiserated with the Nigerian Police, other security agencies, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who have lost personnel and assets, and emphatically stated that such dastardly acts are not healthy for the state and region.
5. The Summit noted the existence of Anti-Open Grazing Law of Abia State and recommended its enforcement.
6. The Summit resolved that there should be devolution of power to Local Governments on matters concerning security for effective security of the State. Every Local Government Chairman in Abia State would be required to work with existing and homegrown structures to ensure the security of their local councils.
7. The Summit recommended a new security architecture by the Abia State Government that will incorporate a community based vigilante services, Homeland Security, (CPAMS) and ABSAS, all of which will work in conjunction with the statutory security agencies to enhance the security and safety of the State.
8. The Summit called on the citizenry to continue to work with the security agencies in Abia State in the area of providing information noting that perpetrators of these nefarious acts are from amongst the people and with robust information management system, it will be easy to apprehend them.
9. The Summit urged security agencies to effectively manage information given to them by informants to avoid backlash against the informants and called for the establishment of an effective incentive system to encourage more people to come forward with information on the activities of criminal elements in the State.
10. The Summit urged traditional rulers in Abia State to continue to play active roles in securing their domains noting that they are very important in the security equation because of their proximity to the people and knowledge of people resident in their domains.
11. The Summit recommended the review of the curfew in Abia North Senatorial Zone from 6pm to 6am, to 8pm to 6am.
12. The Summit called for more stringent crackdown on illicit drug usage in the State as coloration exists between drug use and criminal activities. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency should intensify efforts in ridding the State of illicit drug dealers and users.
13. The Summit called on the Abia State Government to continue to create the enabling environment for human security by providing more jobs, and other economic opportunities for the teeming youths of Abia State so that they would be gainfully employed and be less inclined to criminality.
14. The Summit urged the involvement of the State Legislature in the fight against criminality in Abia State by getting them to expeditiously pass laws that will ensure the security of the State.
15. The Summit urged heads of tertiary institutions in Abia State to continue to evolve robust innovaions to curb the issue of cultism and other criminal activities associated with tertiary institutions.
16. The Summit urged greater inter-agency collaboration among security agencies in Abia State. It called for the creation of a robust central information sharing system that will enable other security agencies to be abreast of efforts of other agencies.
17. The Summit urged the Abia State Government to, apart from the Abia State Security Council, constitute an Abia State Security Advisory Committee made up of serving and retired Senior Security Officers from the State to continue to advise the State Government on security issues based on their experiences.
Issued this 28th Day of May, 2021.