Delta State Government on Thursday hailed what it described as gallantry displayed by a vigilante group in Issele-Azagba, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, which foiled an attempted kidnap of five teachers at Azagba Mixed Secondary School in the town.
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen reportedly stormed the school last Monday and whisked away the principal, vice principal and three teachers after shooting another teacher who later died at the hospital.
But members of the community vigilante mobilised immediately and chased the hoodlums into the bushes to free the captives. In the process, however, one of the rescuers was said to have also died in the cross fire inside the bush.
Speaking at Onicha-Ugbo on the sidelines of the Delta State Strategic Executive Retreat 2019, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu salute the courage displayed by the local security outfit, assuring that the state government will continue to encourage and support the synergy between vigilante groups and security agencies to enhance the security of lives and properties.
“Let me tell you that His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is very impressed with the gallantry put up by the local vigilante at Issele-Azagba.
“People will say why don’t government put security in the schools, but you will also agree that kidnapping can take place anywhere even at homes, and so we are interested in the overall security of every part of the state and I must tell you that our collaboration with the local vigilante groups in the state is a step in the right direction.
“We hope to continue to strengthen them because what has happened has shown that the collaboration of vigilante groups and other security outfits is a good decision and we will stay on course with that right decision as it is yielding desired results.
“We will continue to empower them to make them more capable with a view to ensuring they play a more important role in our quest to ensure a more secured and peaceful state,” he said.
On the lessons to be learnt from the Strategic Exective Retreat 2019, the commissioner said the retreat was important because there is need for all ministries and agencies to collaborate to ensure the realisation of the ‘Stronger Delta Agenda’ of the Okowa-led administration.
“I can confidently tell you that we have learnt a lot already today and it is imperative because there is need to drive home the strategies for achieving the Stronger Delta mantra.
“Yes we have boarded different vehicles but indeed we have been able to understand that the vehicles are headed to one direction and so irrespective of the ministry that you are saddled with the responsibility of overseeing, the goal is for a Stronger Delta.
“The moment you are able to understand the trait you will begin to appreciate the need to collaborate with different agencies and indeed we have to also carry along the people that are working with us because you are not just coming on board as a boss unto everybody but to harness and galvanise the potentials of the individuals in that ministry or agency to achieve the Stronger Delta objective,” he added