From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has raised the alarm over the growing level of insecurity in the state.
The governor in an address yesterday said the state was under siege by criminals even as he vowed to end the ugly situation.
The state in the last one month has witnessed series of attacks on security personnel with about 14 of them killed, patrol vehicles burnt, their guns and other operational equipment taken away even as five persons were kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state.
Said Obiano: “So far, police officers and navy personnel on official duties at strategic checkpoints in various locations in the state were sporadically attacked, killed and their firearms taken away. Also, prison and police personnel conveying an inmate to court were equally attacked and killed.
“This morning, a police outpost was attacked unsuccessfully as joint police, vigilante and community efforts repelled the attackers. Anambra State government categorically condemns these attacks on security personnel and is doing everything possible to apprehend perpetrators and bring them to justice. Since these attacks commenced, I have personally coordinated security commanders in the state with a joint effort to halt this mayhem and by God’s grace, we will surely succeed. The state security council has met twice and I summoned another emergency meeting this afternoon, hence my address.
“We have received massive police, army, navy and DSS deployment since yesterday and they have joined their teams on ground to enforce security. I have therefore directed all security agencies in the state, the vigilante services, all task forces and every structure in the state security infrastructure to rise in defence of our state.I call on all youths, communities, market task forces and every outfit in this state to duty. All traditional rulers, PGs, community leaders as well as every stakeholder in Anambra to rise to protect our state. As your Governor, I hereby raise the security alert in the state and I commit to restoring order and security immediately.
“I call on everybody, irrespective of affiliations to come together and support government and security agencies to fight our common enemy. Those who seek to destroy what we have laboured to build must not be tolerated in any manner. I ask the public to help with information and intelligence to the State to nip this situation in the bud.
“Going forward, extensive security activities will be obvious and by God’s grace we shall overcome. Fitted tinted glasses on vehicles as well as covered plate numbers will no longer be allowed on all roads within the state. Security agencies will be conducting special and strategic operations aimed at neutralising the emerging threats to our collective safety. I therefore ask for the understanding of the public as this goes on and assure you that all law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about.
“While I sympathise with the security agencies and families of those killed in these recent attacks, I urge all those involved in ongoing security efforts not to relent. The police, military and all security agencies and outfits in the state are urged to step out in full boldness to reclaim the public space, dominate the streets, confront criminals when identified and urgently restore order and safety to Anambra State!
“Ndi Anambra, also saturating the media waves is a horryifying video of the killing and beheading of an alleged cultist by members of a rival cult group. This is most despicable and a terrible act. I wish to inform Anambra citizens and residents in the state that the police has arrested three principal suspects and on the heels of their accomplices. They shall all face the full wrath of the law. I have ordered a clampdown on all cultists and their activities. This state shall no longer tolerate the violence that erupts now and then in the name of cultism. Those who try our will in this regard will have themselves to blame! I urge all youths in the state to shun cultism and embrace meaningful lifestyles.”