Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR deeply appreciates all the commitments, professionalism and dedication of all the security agencies particularly, the architecture that have been put in place to secure the homeland; the road blocks, the FOBs (forward operating bases) everywhere.
He stressed that ndi Anambra needs more of them in the coming days, weeks and months because they are very critical in restoring the peace and order that have been enjoyed in the state so far.
The Governor made the remark in an expansive keynote address delivered in his country home at Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Addressing the media, Governor Soludo said that that this is his nine months in office as Governor of Anambra State and wants to use the opportunity to felicitate with all the Anambra people, the millions at home and the more millions in diaspora celebrating Christmas and New Year.
“Our nine months in office has been a journey to serve ndi Anambra and transform the state into a liveable and prosperous homeland that we promised our people.
“The first key agenda of our five major pockets happens to relate to security, law and order and this is the aspect that I want to specifically talk about, to say to our people, where we were at the time I was sworn into office on the 17th of March 2022 and where we are today, which shows the difference between day and night.
“On the 17th of March 2022, eight local governments were basically under seige, taken over by criminals and hoodlums in various camps set up in these local governments.
“But by the grace of God, those 8 local governments have been totally liberated. Law and order seems to be returning back to Anambra. All the camps have been decimated and some of the deadly criminals have been taken out for good,” Soludo stated.
“Few days ago, we had over eighty of these Touts (Agberos) harassing people around Upper Iweka and environs taken into custody and to be prosecuted and probably jailed.
“We are trying to keep our streets safe from Touts and criminals. We will never have a crime free society but as far as I am concerned, I don’t know any state in Nigeria that is safer than Anambra.
“I want to commend all the citizens of Anambra and the stakeholders who hearkened to our call that ‘If you see something, say something, if you say something, do something’. And to our youths who have taken the destiny of this state into their hands. To our women and men who had contributed in assisting government to get hold of criminals in the state.
“Two weeks ago, one criminal in far away Finland declared five days sit at home but ndi Anambra defied the order! Not a single day was observed.
“Thousands of our people returned back home for Christmas and that is why the streets are all busy.
“I want to commend our special task forces that we set up to ensure free flow of traffic. In recent decades, this is the first time we have the most free flow of traffic in the state,” Soludo noted.
“I saw a video of the traffic at Head Bridge and people where marshalling the place 24 hours a day and the other locations at Nnobi, Ekwulobia, Nkpor, Awka, Abagana, 33 Onitsha, etc to ensure that our people move freely.
“I want to commend the security agencies, the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency, the OCHA Brigade, the Vigilante Services, the Anambra youths who have volunteered to serve our people, to keep our streets safe, restore law and order.
“I want to use this occasion to specially appreciate the law enforcement agencies; the Nigerian Police, the Navy, the DSS, the Civil Defense and of course, our very gallant Anambra Vigilante Services and all the volunteers.
“To all the ndi Anambra who have risen up to the occasion, helping to organize the local vigilantes, providing logistics, donated to the security trust fund and those helping in their own little ways to make sure we have a safer homeland.
“There is still work to be done, there are still challenges and all hands must continue to be on deck,” Soludo pointed out.
“I want to commend all the armed forces who put their lives on the line to have our people sleep with their two eyes closed.
“All those who have paid the supreme sacrifice just to keep Anambra safe, several of them died needlessly I must say. May their souls rest in peace.
“These criminals wants the security officers out of the road but fortunately, we thank God that they have remained resolute.
“We will continue to provide all the support that we can to all the security forces as government and as a people of Anambra.
“What they are doing, the sacrifices that they make their commitments and FOBs, we will continue to strengthen them and make them even stronger to keep our people safe and secured.
“In normal circumstances, these road blocks wouldn’t have been needed but this is what we brought up on ourselves.
“Our people taking up arms in the bushes, involved in criminality so to speak. Since they have decided to operate in an abnormal way, we now need abnormal solution.
“We are not always the most confident but the most effective in this circumstance and until the insecurity situation comes down to near zero, we will continue to have the road blocks and FOBs in place.
“I want to thank every ndi Anambra who have been involved. Everyone has a role to play in the road ahead.
“The youths must rise and take their destinies into their hands because their future is on the line, the future of their children and grandchildren. It is your future we are keeping awake everyday to secure.
“I want to use this medium again to appeal to those in the bush and forest, the criminals out there, the kidnappers to come out. We are offering them the opportunity to retrain them and help them start a new productive life.
“The course you have taken by being in the bush is one that leads to nowhere. It is not going to take you to anywhere. Criminality cannot pay you in the long term,” Soludo concluded.