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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Many of You Took Oath with Criminals — Soludo Accuses Anambra Vigilante Members


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo has accused many vigilante operatives in the State of being into covenant with criminals, thereby sabotaging government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity.

According to a statement from the Governor’s Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Aburime, Governor Soludo made the accusation during a crucial meeting with the traditional rulers in the State on Wednesday in Awka, where he also alleged that many vigilante operatives in the state are infiltrated by criminals.

“Part of the problem we experience is that many of the vigilante operatives took oaths with criminals; they were infiltrated,” the Press Secretary quoted the Governor as saying.

Mr. Aburime said the Governor, while addressing the traditional rulers, also expressed concern about the issue of command and control in the leadership of many vigilante operatives in different communities in the State.

“How many of those in charge of community vigilantes reside in their communities? This is a very critical question I throw to you all. How can the Commander of Achalla Vigilante, for example, be living in Awka or Onitsha? It’s not possible, which is why I raise this fundamental issue of command and control,” the Governor was quoted as saying.

According to the Press Secretary, the Governor also revealed the reason the has not signed the monthly payments of the vigilante operatives, and also vowed to hold the traditional rulers and Presidents-General accountable if the vigilante operatives in their communities misbehave.

The Governor, according to Aburime, also raised the issue of cultism in Ihiala and reiterated that his government spends the most on security infrastructure in Ihiala compared to any other local government area in the State.

“We, as a government, are determined to fix the insecurity situation in Ihiala, but the community must be prepared for that, even if it means reconstituting the vigilante force. Communities must show a concerted effort to police their areas and enable them to open on Mondays. They must convince their residents to open businesses consistently, and if this is done persistently, the issue of sit-at-home will eventually die out,” Aburime quoted his principal as saying.

While noting that the central agenda of the meeting were security, environmental and community development, the Press Secretary, in the statement, said the gathering commenced with a moment of silence held in honour of the recently murdered President-General of Umuoji and the victims of the Odu-Igbo Market tragedy in Ochanja.

According to the Governor’s Imagemaker, the meeting attracted all traditional rulers and presidents-general representing all the 179 communities in Anambra, as well as top government functionaries, including the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi; the Head of Service, Barr Theodora Igwegbe; Chief of Protocol to the Governor, Chinedu Nwoye; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Tonycollins Nwabunwanne; among others.

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