Okowa and Delta Hawk initiative – Part 3
Continued from yesterday
The SCPC has The Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien as Co-Chairman, Mr Mamman Rijau, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operations (Co-Chairman); Alhaji Billamin Emiko (NSCIA), Rev. Ejiniewe Joseph (CAN), Marshall Prosper Ojoh (PCRC), Dr. Kehinde Taiga (Civil Society Organisation), Comrade Goodluck Oforbruku (Labour Unions), Mrs Agatha Ajede (NCWS), Comrade Kelly Umukoro (NYCN), Barr. Fred Erulu-Ede (NBA) and Comrade Michael Ikeogwu (NUJ) Not surprising, members of the Delta caucus in the House of Representatives quickly endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s move to establish a new security outfit in the state, revealing they it was impressed by the governor’s decision to set up the security outfit known as “Operation Delta Hawk “in view of the prevailing insecurity in the state, ranging from herders-farmers clashes, kidnapping and other violent crimes.
Minority Leader of the House, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, who led the caucus on a solidarity visit to the Governor at Government House, Asaba, disclosed that the caucus visited to thank the governor for his initiative on rising insecurity in the state through the proposed security outfit.
According to Elumelu, we are here to express the unalloyed support of the caucus to His Excellency’s decision to set up a security apparatus in the state, which has already been named Operation Delta Hawk. He also said that the caucus was appreciative of the way and manner the state government had been fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and for providing palliatives to vulnerable Deltans during the lockdown period.
The minority leader, accompanied by Honorables Ossai Ossai, Victor Nwokolo, and Ben Igbakpa, further disclosed that they also came to felicitate with the governor for the effective running of the state and consequential milestones recorded so far. Elumelu noted that: “On the floor of the House, we pride ourselves as people from Delta because our governor has been able to distinguish himself creditably in the manner in which he has catered for the people of the state.
Aside implementing the lockdown, we also congratulated the governor on his decision to set up ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ which we believe will help in solving the insecurity problem that we currently face in Nigeria and not even Delta alone. The measures he has taken so far in addressing the insecurity as it relates to Delta is something we are very proud of and that is why we are here”.
On his part, Nwokolo said that setting up of Operation Delta Hawk was a proactive step in line with Community Policing initiative of the Inspector-General of Police. What he has done in setting up the security outfit is in the right direction and that is one of the reasons why we are here to commend him for being proactive because the actions he has taken are in the right direction because we can’t keep folding our hands.
“All over the world we are talking about community policing, so setting up Operation Delta Hawk is in that direction which will bring up a team of professionals in the real sense of security professionals to advise the state in what direction to go. “He is being proactive and we must commend him because you can’t be putting infrastructure for your people yet they are killing them every day. He is one man who doesn’t believe in self-help and being lawless and that’s exactly what he has decided to do and we are optimistic that he will record huge success from this decision as he has always had in the past” Relatedly, President General, Asaba Development Union-World Wide (ADU WW), and member of SCPAC, Chief Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN), appalled the Delta State government’s initiative on security for the safety of lives and properties of all in the state.
The learned silk in a statement commended the state government for this well thought out plan to unveil Operation Delta Hawk as a veritable security outfit, disclosing that efforts were on to reach out to the leadership of neighbouring communities to ensure the success of the programme. “I am in touch with President Generals from entire Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, particularly Ibusa and Okpanam. ADU WW is already engaging with our vigilante group and is prepared and determined to support them all the way.
I have also sufficiently galvanized our political office holders in Abuja and everybody is in sync with our strategic action plan to defend our territory”, Azinge emphasized. Most importantly, traditional rulers in Delta applauded Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the initiative to set up the ‘Operation Delta Hawk’ security outfit for the purpose of community policing of the state, with a call on all security agencies and all persons of conscience to put up concerted effort to flush out the criminal herdsmen and their camps from the bushes of Delta State.
Speaking at a media forum with journalists in the palace of His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor, Obi of Owa, who is also the Chairman, Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, they expressed strong concern over the evil activities of alleged criminal herdsmen that have seized the bushes of the state, killing, maiming, kidnapping and collecting ransom, raping the women and destroying farm produce with their cattle.
Obi Efeizomor with whom was the Obi of Onicha-Ugbo, Obi of Issele-Uku, Obi of Atuma, Obi of Idumuje-Unor, Obi of Umunede, and Obi of Akumazi said: “These people who have camps in the bush should be made to leave the bush where they have set up camps across the state. They should not be allowed to live in the bush from where they come to commit crimes. They should be chased out of the bushes where they camp and launch criminal attacks on the people”.
Obi Efeizomor commended Governor Okowa for taking concrete steps to tackle looming threat to peace and security hitherto enjoyed in the state, adding that the initiative has helped in calming frayed nerves. “On behalf of Delta Traditional Rulers council, we say that the initiative to set up an independent security outfit in Delta State is commendable. The exercise is long overdue. We thank the governor immensely for making this a reality. We the traditional rulers will give our support. We ask that the exercise should involve whistle blowing. We have been waiting for this community policing outfit for a long time,” Obi Efeizomor said.
Although the outfit is yet to commence, the avalanche of support and solidarity from across key sections of the society, including religious, traditional, socio-cultural, political and civil society groups, is a clear pointer that the governor is on a right path. Undoubtedly, there are expectations that when the outfit is eventually unveiled, it will help to restore sanity and galvanise the Delta state to greater heights. It is also unlikely that the unveiling would be characterized with avoidable acrimony since consultations for the setting up of the Operation Delta Hawk has been across board. It is however hoped that fears previously associated with the plan to establish community police in the country would have been sufficiently mitigated before the take off of the new security outfit. The excesses of the youth, who will make up the bulk of the recruits, must be nipped in the bud. The point must be stressed for collaboration between Operation Delta Hawk and other security agencies; possible areas of conflict and rivalry must be effectively mitigated. By and large, there is no controversy ad to the correctness of this noble initiative. Definitely, Governor Okowa has demonstrated unquestionable and excellent courage in initiating the move. He deserves the accolade that has trailed the constitution of two committees as a precursor to the setting up of the outfit. Except that there are prayers that bureaucratic bottleneck would not be created to stifle and make the expectation a myriad.