Ikpeazu Restates Commitment Towards Addressing Security Challenges At Umunneochi
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has assured the people of Umunneochi LGA of his administration’s commitment towards addressing the issue of insecurity around the Nkwoagu,Leru,Lomara,Nneato axis where there has been a spike in the activities of criminals in recent times.
Recall that the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu-Uche, the Methodist Bishop of Owerri, Rt Rev Okechukwu Michael and the Prelate’s Chaplain, Shitti, were recently abducted by suspected Fulani herdsmen and released after a ransom of 100 million naira was allegedly paid to secure their release
Also, many people including students of the Abia state University Uturu have been abducted along the area recently and later released.
But, Governor Ikpeazu, Friday, during a Stakeholders meeting with the people of Umunneochi at the palace of Eze Godson Ezekwesiri at Umuelem Isuochi, assured that the state government would stamp out all forms of criminality in the area.
He noted that the issue of insecurity in Umunneochi and its neighbouring communities has become a matter of great concern to government adding that it pains him to see Abians in danger.
The Governor promised to liase with leaders and stakeholders of Umunneochi LGA with a view to nipping in the bud kidnapping and other social vices which have become the order of the day in the area.
Governor Ikpeazu therefore, directed stakeholders of Umunneochi to articulate various flashpoints in the area restating that the ban on open grazing is still in full force.
While describing security situation in Nigeria as very precarious, the Governor regretted that insecurity in Nigeria has become worst than it used to be in time past.
Governor Ikpeazu who noted that alot of steps have been taken in the past by his administration to secure the lives and properties of citizens said that government will address the issues decisively.
Speaking earlier, the Methodist Archbishop of Okigwe Archdiocese, The Most Rev. Biereonwu Onuagha who regretted that Umunneochi has been turned into a money making center for kidnappers and other criminals called for the reopening of the Ihube-Lomara road that has become a known flashpoint for criminals.
Archbishop Onuagha also called for the immediate relocation of the Lokpanta cattle market which he described as a security threat to them and thanked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for his role in the timely release of The methodist Prelate.
Also in their separate speeches,a former Chairman of old Umunneochi LGA Chief Uzo Egbo and the traditional ruler of Aro-ikpa autonomous community, Eze Ernest Onwuka noted that Umunneochi shares boundary with all the South East states of Imo,Anambra,Ebonyi and Enugu thus makingthe area vulnerable to all sorts of crimes with over 12 incidences of kidnapping recorded along the Leru-Lomara-Nneato road in recent times.
They called for the dismantling of various military check points in the area and as their sons and daughters no longer visit home due to prevailing insecurity and thanked Governor Ikpeazu for coming to their rescue.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had on arrival at Umunneochi LGA, visited the scene where the kidnapping of the Methodist Prelate His Eminece Samuel Kanu Uche and his team took place while the Commissioner for information, Dr Eze Chikamnayo,Chief Ndidi Okereke, the member Umunneochi State constituency Mr Okey Igwe and other stakeholders in the area were present at the meeting.