From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
For his doggedness and commitment towards combating crime, the Chairman of Old Motor Spare Parts Union, Ugwuagba Market (Mgbuka) Obosi, Anambra State, Chief Emmanuel Obiagwu has been honoured as adviser on security by the Crime Prevention Campaign of Nigeria (CPCN) Zone 9 Command.
Obiagwu was honoured based on his record in the fight against crime and criminal activities at the market since 2014 when he assumed office.
He had arrested and handed over 60 criminals from the market to the security agents.
Until he became the leader of the market, the market was known for notorious and criminal activities, but he came and flushed them out of the market within two years in the office which drew the attention of police and other security agencies to recommend him for the award.
The former state Commissioner of Police, Mr Sam Okaula who was represented by the Area Commander in-charge of Onitsha, Mr Yahaya Abubakar while decorating Chief Obiagwu commended him for his fearless and committed zeal in exposing crime, saying that he had always contacted the police and other security outfits when he noticed any suspicious elements in the market.
He stated that the fight against crime and criminality was a collective responsibility as the police could not alone effectively and efficiently do it, saying that the violation of the law is regarded as crime, which may be against an individual or state and could result to punishment or jail.
Okaula maintained that crime prevention required committed synergy and partnership with the government and diverse groups in various communities which could influence the way the police perform their roles.
He noted that crime prevention comprises strategies and measures that seek to reduce the risk of crime, including becoming aware of your environment and remaining alert to situations that could make one vulnerable to crime.
He stated that traditional institutions play a vital role in community policing because they are custodians of the culture, values, norms and tradition, stressing that community policing would not be effective without partnering with the traditional institutions.
He also said that the police should build strong ties with the traditional rulers by building and maintaining mutual relationship, saying that there was need for a state trust fund where the state government agencies, private organizations and individuals would raise money for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment, material, human and financial resources for the effective functioning of security agencies.
The Director of Operations, CPCN, Evang. Francis Nwokike in his address said that Chief Obiagwu apart from combating crime in the market had restored peace, love, tolerance and mutual understanding among the traders by settling all the neglected bereaved families.
He noted that Obiagwu has rehabilitated roads in the market to make it accessible for the security agents and task force who come on patrol.
He has also upgraded the security of the market which made traders and visitors to be free from the menace of criminals.
Nwokike disclosed that the CPCN is a Non-Governmental Organization with exceptional background committed to support and work with the police to bring about crime-free society through crime sensitization programmes.
He said that the NGO decided to embark on crime sensitization programmes across the country in order to improve the social, political, democratic, ethnic and religious relations and understanding to help reduce crime to its barest minimum.
In his appreciation, Chief Obiagwu said that the award would spur him to do more, pledging to continue to put more efforts in crime prevention not only in the market but also in the society just as he commended the police and the CPCN for the honour.
On how he was singled out for the award, Obiagwu said: “What prompted them may be my contributions towards crime prevention and the role I have been playing to sanitize the market because before I came on board this place was seen as a place where criminals abound, where all sorts of criminalities could be traced.
“For now, crime in this market has been reduced to the barest minimum. My relationship with the security agents has been very cordial and I have been collaborating with them, whenever I saw anything unusual or suspicious I will invite them to come and investigate it.”
He also urged the traders not to take everything for granted or collaborate or indulge in crime, advising them to be security conscious of their area.
“I have handed over about 65 criminals to the police since I came to this office because as I told you earlier before I came to this market, it was like crime was legalized in this market but since seven months ago things have changed and we have continued to sanitize the market for better. I advise the CPCN to continue to sensitize the people about crime prevention because ignorance is the problem of the society,” Obiagwu said.