By Ijendu Iheaka
Dr. Charles Chinekezi, the Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation, Aba chapter, has appealed to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia to take urgent steps to halt the growing security challenges in the state.
Chinekezi made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba on Thursday, while speaking on the alleged security lapses in the commercial town.
He underscored the need for the governor to reorganise the state security architecture in order to ensure the safety of lives and property.
He said that the state of insecurity in Abia called for pragmatic measures by the governor, including issuing an ultimatum to security agencies in the state, “if things must change.”
The CLO chairman said: “You can see what happened between 2008 and 2010 when armed bandits literally sacked Aba residents, forcing many businesses to close down.
“Thanks to former President Goodluck Jonathan, who drafted the Nigerian Army to Aba to save the situation, which had already got out of hand.
“It got so bad that banks had to close down their operations and leave Aba for good.<
“At a point, banks shut down their operations to protest the incessant attacks by hoodlums.
“Bandits were firing machine guns virtually everywhere in the city and the Aba end of the Enugu-Port Harcout Expressway.
“Very often, you hear gunshots that caused stampede among the residents and thoroughfarers, who had to run for their lives.
“We have been through that before but it was controlled. This new development, where people are being killed at every street corner, is becoming very worrisome.
Chinekezi recalled how a Super Eagle’s international was brutally killed around his father’s house at Ogbor Hill recently.
He also cited last week’s gruesome murder of an unidentified young man and another young by unknown gunmen in different parts of the city a few weeks ago.
“This is getting too much and the governor needs to act to stir the security agencies up to action to save the lives of residents.”
Chinekezi said that it was not enough to restrict tricycle operations from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., pointing out that the restriction had not yielded any significant results.
He therefore called for better collaboration and strategic approach by the state government and various security agencies in tackling the security situation.