(T0P ST0RY) OPEN LETTER TO GOV. IKPEAZU: Over Kidnapping In Umunneochi & Solutions
An Abian Jasper Uche has written an open letter to Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. In the open letter, the writer revealed the security issues in Umunneochi and proffered solutions.
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR IKPEAZU
Dear Mr Governor,
SOS: UMUNNEOCHI LGA UNDER SIEGE OF KIDNAPPERS
It is with a heavy heart that I join the teeming youths and peace lovers of Umunneochi LGA, Abia State, to demand for an urgent and sustainable security intervention, and a complete overhaul of the entire security architecture, in order to safeguard the border towns, that make up the LGA.
Bordered by the other four states in the South East, the locals have habitually maintained good neighbourliness, except a few cases of land disputes, which are handled by the National Boundary Commission.
However, since the relocation of the Cattle Market to the area, by a former Governor of the State, neither the host communities, nor the entire LGA, has known peace. Women that dared to go to farms are raped with impunity. Traditional homelands and sanctuaries harbouring historical relics and antiquities, are desecrated with reckless abandon by herders. Farmlands and agricultural yields are destroyed by rampaging cattle. Streams and rivers that serve the communities are polluted by the excreta of moving animals.
In 2015, there was a case of water-borne disease (dodging the word ‘epidemic’) that claimed some lives at Lokpanta. The opinion of experts attributed the scourge to open defecation by men and mammals.
Gunrunners are having a field day in the locality. The kidnapping hotspots include: Ihube-Leru stretch of Enugu-PH Expressway; Ndiawa-Leru axis; Lomara-Nneato axis; Umuaku-Amuda border (Ugwuodo); and Umuaku-OwerreEzukala border(Egbu), among other flashpoints. Not to talk of their criminal sphere of influence, up to Ihube, Uturu and ABSU hinterlands.
Intelligence at our disposal largely generated from the victims, including His Eminence, Dr. S. K. Uche, the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, indicted Military FOB at Lomara Junction, Isuochi.
The camp of the kidnappers is not far from the military base, as the military men are accused of turning down distress calls. This can be safely interpreted as active connivance.You may wish to go through a transcribed audio account by the Prelate, who paid a ransom of 100 Million naira, few days ago.
Cumulatively, our people may have spent over 500 million naira ransom to kidnappers.
As I write to you sir, the two stretches of the Expressway along the Cattle Market are recklessly encumbered by senseless and insensitive parking of heavy duty vehicles, that are usually on transit to other states. No one collects fines for the obstructions and the waste of man hours.
For me, it is tantamount to economic sabotage! And my people committed no crime for donating their ancestral lands for the market.
- Declare a state of emergency in the area. The cattle market should be raided.
- A disbandment of the Military FOB at Lomara. A new set of officers with a mandate to tackle kidnapping should be posted to police and safeguard the area.
- The Commissioner of Police to send specially trained officers to comb and smoke out the kidnappers from their hideouts. The bushes, (not forests), are not too be big to overrun.
- The Ministry of Homeland Security should deploy its men and/or engage willing youths and local vigilantes in the form of a joint task force, to track the criminal elements, and clean up the areas.
- Logistics support to the Police, vigilantes and other security agencies in the area. These include: vehicles, motorcycles, welfare packages, superior firepower, drones and other commuication gadgets.
- In the long run, there should be a plan to relocate the Cattle Market.
Please, sir, come over to ‘Macedonia’ and help us.