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Ihedioha orders monarchs to fish out criminals in their domain or face consequences

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Worried by the rising incidence of crime and criminality in different parts of Imo State, particularly in Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Councils, Governor Emeka Ihedioha has directed all monarchs in the state to identify all the criminals in their communities and hand them over to security agencies or face sanction from him.

Ihedioha, who gave the order, yesterday, while declaring open the first Ohaji/ Egbema/Oguta Security Summit (oil-rich areas), with the theme, ‘Rising Insecurity in Ohaji /Egbema /Oguta: The Way Forward,’ held at Oguta Civic Centre, said he was troubled by the rising insecurity in the area.

He commended his Deputy, Gerard Irona, who also hails from Oguta, for his efforts to tackle the problem, adding that he (governor) was sworn-in to ensure security and welfare of lives and properties of the people.

The governor announced that very soon, rewards for whistleblowers would be made public, warning hoodlums who abducted two members of the interim management committee of Ada Palm to release them immediately, as he would not spare anyone caught. 

To monarchs, he said: “Let us know who the criminals in your areas are. We hope you do not collude with them, if we find out, we use appropriate steps to restore sanity in our communities.”

Ihedioha, who donated vehicles to fight insecurity in the areas, said he was not interested in receiving any sponsored solidarity visits, stressing that the state government was working in synergy with the Water Smith oil company operating in the state and the Imo State Oil Producing Development Commission (ISOPADEC) to restore power supply, which has been off for about eight years, to the area.

Irona and Chairman of the summit, Kalu Egwuagu, said they were troubled by the growing insecurity in the area; hence to summit, urging the locals to be armed with security tips in helping to fish out culprits, saying security was business of all.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Ladodo, disclosed that his men and officers, in an operation led by him, freed seven victims, including a pregnant woman, abducted and dumped in a forest in an oil-producing community. 

He regretted that the forest was causing menace and something urgent needed to be done, while oil was fast becoming a source of insecurity in communities.


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