OVERVIEW:

Isiukwuato community is blessed with a wide array of accomplished Nigerians in various fields of human endeavour spanning Law, Medicine, Engineering, Literature, Environmental Sciences, Economics, etc.

But most importantly and for emphasis during this summit, is the fact that, one very important trait of the Isuikwuato people is their love for military service, enlistment in the police and other paramilitary services.

This has earned the community the commonly touted description as ‘‘The Land of Generals’’. 

The community boasts of such retired officers as Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu; General Ike Nwachukwu, former G.O.C, I Div, former Governor old Imo State and Federal Minister of several portfolios.

Our chairman here today, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, the first Chief of Army Staff from the South East is also proudly from Isuikwuato. There is also Navy Captain Chris Osondu, former Governor of Cross River State; AIG, IROHAM, CP Ilozuoke, CP Goddy Okereke  among others. Several others have attained enviable heights in other paramilitary agencies while many more are up coming.

This particular feature of the Isuikwuato people, that is, ‘‘The Land of Generals’’ appellation, is one of the reasons why the Isuikwuato people believe that, they cannot live on the banks of the River Niger and wash their faces with saliva. They believe they have the human resources and the reach to tackle the menace of rising criminality which we are facing in Isuikwuato, today.


SUMMARY:

From the trend of occurrences of crimes in Isuikwuato lately, some deductions have also been made as follows:

1. Car thefts are common particularly, during ceremonies

2. Robberies between Abia State University and Nkwonta are very rampant.

3. Cult activities are on the increase

4. Nunya as a get-away community experiences robberies on the road and in homes/houses as well as pockets of cult activities, etc.

5.  Acha experiences similar occurrences as Nunya

.6. Ovim, Amaba, Ahaba Imenyi and environs experience breaking into houses/shops at odd times, stealing of borehole Sumo pumps, harassment of people going to their farms, etc.

7. Eluama is relatively safe because of the local vigilante group, but few cases of attempted murder have also been reported.

8. Generally, threats on traders, particularly, on market  days are on the increase

9. Hard/illicit drug peddling and use is at an alarming rate. 

10. Fulani herdsmen also pose an emerging threat particularly, to farmers.


TIME TO ACT:

Security is not cheap. From the fore-going, there is no doubt that, crimes are thriving in Isuikwuato because the self-help efforts of the various communities towards providing security are hamstrung by paucity of funds.

Most times, levies are imposed but before long the funds realized are exhausted and as contributors begin to default in their payments, the gains made fizzle out as fast as they were made. No sooner this happens, than the bad boys, most of whom had been picked up earlier when funds were available, begin to resurface. What then do we do?Let us therefore look at some options available to us and the way forward:

1. Agriculture:  Agriculture remains the primary occupation of the Isuikwuato people. With the Federal Government sounding loudly a clarion call for a return to agriculture in the face of dwindling oil revenues, Isuikwuato must key in and get its youth meaningfully engaged.

While I am aware of spirited efforts to revive agriculture in Abia state, may I use this opportunity to call on the state Government to resuscitate the Ulonna farm settlement on the Umuobiala flank of  Isuikwuato LGA. I believe that, this giant farm settlement will engage a considerable number of our youth in Isuikwuato. It is also important that the various communities set up cooperative societies for their agricultural pursuits in order to benefit from palliatives being provided by Government in the agricultural sector. I am aware of some initiatives by Umuobiala, Umuokogbuo, etc in this respect.

2. Education: According to Mandela, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. It is my plea to our families in Isuikwuato to make sacrifices to ensure that every Isuikwuato child is educated. Those who can afford it should assist the indigent. More scholarships should be provided for our youth. In so doing, we equip these children for a better tomorrow and they will think less of crime.

3. Infrastructure: One of our major problems is the poor state of infrastructure. Impassable roads, water problems, poor electricity, non-functional hospitals, etc. In fact, it will not be an under-statement to say that Isuikwuato suffers the worst form of erosion menace in Nigeria.

Government as we know cannot handle these problems alone. We are beginning to notice a lot of big empty houses in Isuikwuato lately as noted earlier. Rather than this fast accumulating waste, it is my humble plea that those who can afford it begin to channel more of their resources to uplifting infrastructure in our communities.

As much as we appreciate the enormity of the developmental burden on the state government, we in Isuikwuato want to appeal that, we be given prime consideration in the implementation of the programmes contained in the five cardinal pillars of the State Government namely: Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure, Commerce and Industry, Oil and Gas. As noted earlier by Robert McNamara, former U.S Defence Secretary, security is development. Without development, there can be no security.

4. Traditional Rulers: The traditional institution is key in fighting crime in any community. Traditional rulers as custodians of the culture, the norms, beliefs, ethics and sanctions in the community, play a vital role in the security of their respective communities. They are closer to the people and know when strangers enter the community. However, constitutional constraints hamper their effectiveness. It is therefore important that appropriate constitutional reforms are put in place to effectively harness the potential of this important institution.

5. Town Unions: The Igbos of the South East are well known for the importance they attach to their town unions all over Nigeria and across the globe.

These unions are effective social agents of unity and advancement of the development of our respective communities.

We are here today because of the importance we as Isuikwuato sons and daughters attach to the Isuikwuato Development Union (IDU) which has true to expectation timeously championed this cause for arresting the drift in Isuikwuato occasioned by rising criminality among our youth.

We should strengthen our respective subsidiary town unions and be more focused in utilizing them for developing our individual communities which will no doubt make for enhanced security.

6. Neighbouring Communities: As stated earlier, Isuikwuato shares boundaries with a number of communities in Abia as well as Ebonyi and Imo States. If we secure our territories without our neighbours doing same, our efforts will come to nought. It is therefore important that we carry our neighbours along, particularly, as regards manning the several access routes leading into their communities from Isuikwuato through which criminals can escape.

7. Vigilante Groups: All communities in Isuikwuato should revive their vigilante groups. The current situation where only a few communities have effective vigilante outfits is unacceptable. We must not over burden the few individuals who have been making personal sacrifices for the safety of the rest of us. Let us act collectively to revive our vigilantes under strict supervision by the security agencies.

8. Dark Spots: Conscious efforts must be made to identify dark spots in our communities where criminals congregate to plan their nefarious activities. We must identify beer parlours, Indian Hemp joints and other red light districts in our communities where these criminals converge and close them down. In this direction, we implore such agencies as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Civil Defense Corps to come to our aid.

9. University Security: We have noted that, cultists in Abia State University are behind a number of crimes in the area. The security department of the university is no doubt handicapped in addressing the malaise alone. The off-campus residential system in the University further compounds the monitoring of these deviant students. We therefore solicit the support of the state government as well as the security agencies in strengthening existing counter measures put in place by the university authorities.

10. Social Media Platforms: The social media has lately become a powerful tool in shaping social discourse. Through effective administrators, various social media platforms are playing effective roles in awakening the consciousness of our youth and indeed a wide spectrum of our Isuikwuato people towards the development of our homeland.

It is noteworthy that the revolutions recorded in the Arab nations in the not too distant past known as the Arab Springs were fueled primarily by the social media. The effectiveness of this tool cannot therefore be over emphasized.

Let us imbibe the positive elements of this tool and place a premium on the quality of administrators that regulate these platforms. So far, Isuikwuato Development Union (IDU) is in very good hands. There is also the Isuikwuato Global Initiative, another platform which is doing well in shaping the aspirations of our youth and has been strident in its calls for the tackling of security challenges in Isuikwuato.

11. Post Primary Institutions: Asides Abia State University, we must also look closely at what is happening in our secondary schools. A lot of bad habits are learnt at teenage. Who are the teachers? Who are the principals? What is their pedigree? Are our communities looking into their plight? Or, do we just leave everything to the Local Government to deal with?

I believe our town unions should begin to play more active roles in what goes on in these institutions as they could serve as potential breeding grounds for criminals if not properly monitored.

12. Fulani Herdsmen Menace: While this phenomenon has not assumed the dimension recorded in other parts of the country, extra-vigilance must be ensured in order to rid the community of any illegal settlements that may serve as breeding grounds for potential conflicts.

13. Security Agencies: The fact that we all plied the roads safely to attend this summit is no doubt the result of the collective efforts of the security agencies here present, particularly, the Nigeria Police. Remove police presence from Nigeria today and we become a jungle over-night. We in Isuikwuato appreciate you. We understand your limitations.

While lending our voice to improved government funding to enhance your operations, we in Isuikwuato call for your continued assistance in keeping criminals at bay through more proactive measures.

Community policing is the direction to go. It is policing that involves every member of the community. As the saying goes in community policing, every police man is a citizen and every citizen is a police man without uniform.

We in Isuikwuato are willing and ready to join you in this enterprise.For our big brothers in the military, we want to say a big thank you for the intervention roles you have been playing in internal security to enhance our safety. Special thanks again for providing a platform for this summit, particularly, to the Chief of Army Staff, the GOC 82 Div, the Commandant of this Language School (143 Battalion) as well as your able commanding officers.

Your presence alone in Isuikwuato sends jitters down the spines of criminal elements. We therefore appeal for your continued support within your code of operations in maintaining peace and security in Isuikwuato.For my constituency, the intelligence community, represented by the DSS, CIIB and perhaps, the DMI, let me reiterate that, wars are won through the availability of credible intelligence.

The Israeli Intelligence Service, MOSSAD, once presented a budget to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, which was higher than the entire budget of the Israeli Defence forces put together. The parliament was amazed and demanded an explanation from the MOSSAD boss. His answer was simple. He said, before the Israeli forces win any war, I must have won the war, first. This underscores the importance of intelligence in the context of security operations.

I therefore urge the intelligence community to sharpen their information collection efforts with a view to preventing the various threats to security from occurring.Security is a collective effort and no single agency can do it alone.

I call for active collaboration and synergy, not just among the police, the military and the DSS, but also among all concerned agencies like the NDLEA, NSCDC, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, FRSC, Man-o-War, our vigilante groups, NGOs and all groups engaged in maintaining peace and security one way or the other.

14. Isuikwuato Security Trust Fund: As noted earlier, security is not cheap. We cannot achieve our dream of making Isuikwuato safe if we are not ready to make personal sacrifices. We must therefore task ourselves because nobody else will do it for us. At best, they can provide the enabling environment.Accordingly, it is my submission that Isuikwuato should set up an Isuikwuato Security Trust Fund to which all town unions must contribute an annual sum.

The trust fund should be empowered to articulate an effective security blue-print from the resolutions reached here today and begin to raise funds through all legitimate means it deems fit like launchings and accessing existing local and international funds and facilities for the maintenance of peace and security in Isuikwuato.

See the full lecture below;

BEING A LECTURE DELIVERED BY CHIEF , RAYMOND NKEMDIRIM, MFR, AT THE JOINT CIVIL/MILITARY SUMMIT HELD AT THE NIGERIAN ARMY LANGUAGE SCHOOL, 143 BATALLION, OVIM, ISUIKWUATO LGA, ABIA STATE, ON THE 11TH OF NOVEMBER, 2017.

PROTOCOLS…
INTRODUCTION


I consider it a humbling privilege to be given this opportunity to lead discussions on the rising wave of crime in Isuikwuato. I believe it is not because I have all the answers to tackling this malaise that I have been called up here today, but simply a wake-up call by the Isuikwuato people to those of us, their sons, who have attained various positions in the top echelons of the security services of this great country, to act timeously to check the current drift in our community. On that plank, I say the message is not lost on us and we will do all within our powers to arrest the situation.
We are not oblivious of the rising incidence of crime in Isuikwuato in recent times which indeed has compelled those of us living outside home (or abroad) to question whether indeed it is the same serene Isuikwuato that we left behind that is in the news. For most of us from Isuikwuato who are in the diaspora, we pride ourselves in the impeccability of our heritage, ancestry, culture, norms and above all, our humility. We boast that, you cannot fault our honesty and credibility in any dealings with us. That, we are about the best stock of South Easterners you can get, if not the best, and a place where no negative stereotypes thrive. We are very respectful to elders and we remain the only Igbos who have the word ‘‘Nwanneukwu’’ (big brother) in our vocabulary. But alas, recent developments seem to have caught us off-guard. We have began to hear of robberies, kidnappings, drug abuse, extortion, rape, cultism and most unimaginably, ritual killings. These were indeed foreign to Isuikwuato hitherto.


That is why today’s summit would not have come at a better time than now when it is yet morning in the annals of this brewing monster threatening to dislocate the trajectory of Isuikwuato’s developmental march.


We in Isuikwuato are therefore particularly grateful to the Nigerian Army for accepting to partner with us and actualizing this partnership by providing us this platform to evolve solutions for tackling this emerging threat.

Offering us this venue alone underscores the importance the Army attaches to the security of the people in whose domain it operates. It is our hope that with the contributions of all other security agencies here represented,

we will come up with robust resolutions at the end of this summit that will be in the overall interest of the Isuikwuato community and indeed Abia State. Let me not also proceed without commending the present executive of the Isuikwuato Development Union (IDU) under the able leadership of Sir Okey Kanu for this timely initiative.

SCOPE:
The scope of this presentation will be restricted to the geographical expression called, ‘‘Isuikwuato’’ as much as possible. But we cannot ignore the fact that, we are an integral part of the larger Abia community and indeed the all-encompassing Nigerian state. We must not also forget that, Nigeria is part of the wider international community.

TERMS:
The key terms in this discourse going by our topic ‘‘Rising Wave of Crime in Isuikwuato: Time to Act’’ are essentially the words Crime and Isuikwuato (for the benefit of those who are not from Isuikwuato).
We all no doubt know what a crime is and what some of the prevalent crimes are, but for the purposes of this exercise, let us look at some key definitions in some detail.

CRIME:
Generally speaking, a crime is an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.

Types of Crimes:
Robbery:
A robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. Common law defines robbery as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of the property, by means of force or fear. Types of robbery include:
Armed Robbery
Aggravated Robbery
Highway Robbery
Bank Robbery
Snatching (bags, phones, valuables)
Car Snatching or car jacking
Pick – pocket
One – chance Robbery
Extortion

Kidnapping:
Kidnapping is the act of abducting someone and holding him/her captive. Criminal law describes kidnapping as the unlawful abduction and confinement of a person against his or her will. Kidnapping is usually accompanied by a demand for ransom.

Drug Abuse:
Drug abuse or substance abuse is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others and is a form of substance – related disorder. Some of the abused drugs are:
Cannabis/Marijuana/Indian Hemp (Igbo, weed, ganja, dope, etc)
Rohypnol
Cocaine
Heroine
Ecstasy
Madrass
Solution, Evostic
Tramadol
Codeine
Paraga

Rape:
Rape is the unlawful sexual intercourse of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sexual organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.

Murder:
Murder is the deliberate and illegal killing of a person. It means to kill unlawfully and with premeditation.
Cultism:
Cultism is a ritual practice by a group of people whose membership, admission, policy and initiation formalities as well as their mode of operations are kept secret, with their activities having negative effects on both members and non-members alike. Some examples of cult groups are the Black Axe, Buccaneers, Eiye, Vikings, Woman Brassier, Daughters of Jezebel and Pink Lady.


ISUIKWUATO
This lecture is not about the historical antecedents of the Isuikwuato people, but a concern for the rising incidence of criminality within the geographical expression called Isuikwuato L.G.A (See Map).

Geography:
Isuikwuato L.G.A is one of the seventeen (17) LGAs of Abia State and constitutes one of the four main communities that formed the abbreviation, ABIA, after which the state is named.

It is noteworthy that, Abia is an acronym for Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato and Afikpo.
Isuikwuato LGA which is populated mainly by the Isuikwuato and Uturu people covers a land area of and lies between the coordinates and . It is bounded in the North by Umunneochi LGA of Abia State as well as Okigwe and Ivo LGAs of Imo and Ebonyi States, respectively.

In the East, it is bounded by Bende LGA of Abia State as well as parts of Ivo LGA in Ebonyi State. To the West and South of Isuikwuato, we have Umuahia North LGA of Abia State.

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From the security stand-point, one of the parameters for assessing Isuikwuato’s vulnerability to crime is the access points in and out of Isuikwuato through such routes as the Abia State University/Okigwe route leading to Okigwe in Imo state; the Akara – Alayi/Akara-Uzuakoli routes leading into Bende LGA on the Umuahia-Arochukwu highway; Umuobiala – Ulonna farm settlement road leading to Umuda Ofeme in Umuahia North LGA; the Uturu/Onuaku-Afikpo highway leading into Ivo LGA of Ebonyi state; the Eluama-Nunya route leading to the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway; and a number of other routes leading from Acha to Ndiokoroukwu in Ebonyi State and from Ovim to Ezeukwu in Bende LGA, Abia State.

These routes are significant for the access they provide criminals fleeing by road.
Air travel or river travel are not predominant in Isuikwuato even though on several occasions, helicopters of various sizes have landed within the territory.


The name Isuikwuato means three families or lineages led by three brothers namely, Imenyi, Isuamawo and Oguduasa.
Natural resources in Isuikwuato include: Iron Ore and Kaolin. Oil pipelines traverse the area and there had been cases of burst pipelines in the past which had severe effects on the local economy and environment. The people of Isuikwuato are mainly into agriculture and major cash crops include: palm produce and cassava. Cashew is also found in considerable quantity.


Isuikwuato LGA is the home to Abia State University and Gregory University all in Uturu.
Isuikwuato people are predominantly Christians of the Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Apostolic and Pentecostal persuasions.


Our Uturu brothers are inseparable from us as we bear a long historical bond. Uturu is our university town as indicated earlier and has many other notable educational institutions like the Marist Brothers Juniorate.

The community has high archaeological importance as findings in 1977 revealed signs of habitation by early, middle and late Stone Age man known as Homo Erectus. The popular Ugwuele archaeological site at Uturu yields a huge collection of stone-age implements suggesting a major factory for such tools. Uturu is made up of two main clans namely: Ihite and Ikeagha; and boasts of several prominent Nigerians including: Sir Sab Ejiomofor of Sab Motors fame; Dr. Gregory Ibe of Gregory University and Dr. Uche Ogah of Masters Energy Group, among other notable sons.


World View:
Generally speaking, the Isuikwuato people are peace loving people. We pride ourselves in saying that, we are ‘‘ndi mgburi awu’’ (enjoyment people). We are contented people and envy is not in our dictionary. In several parts of Igbo land, there are several negative stereotypes by which the people are known. For the purposes of modesty, let me not list some of these negative stereotypes which have over the ages haunted several communities.

Isuikwuato is free from any such negative stereotypes. There is only one area where researchers agree that, they cannot vouch for an Isuikwuato man. They say, Isuikwuato people are ‘‘ndi ihendor’’.

The story is told of a Magistrate who once served in Isuikwuato for eleven (11) years and was later posted to Aba. Three (3) men from different Abia communities including Isuikwuato were brought before his court in Aba, accused of robbery. Before he even started the case, he isolated the Isuikwuato man from the other accused, removed him from the dock and asked the counsels to proceed with the case.

At the end of the day, the other two accused were confirmed to have actually committed the offence of robbery. The Isuikwuato man was not guilty and therefore, freed. When the Magistrate was asked how he knew even before the case started that the Isuikwuato man was not guilty, he said, he lived in Isuikwuato for eleven (11) years and that, in all those years, no case of theft or violent crime was ever traced to an Isuikwuato man. If there was a robbery in Isuikwuato, it was by strangers. He said, however that, if the case brought before him had been for adultery and its related activities; he would have jailed the Isuikwuato man first. Do I need any further explanation of what ‘‘ihendor’’ is?
To the Isuikwuato man, nothing is too big. Everything is ‘‘Nwa ihe’’ (nwahe). A big car is ‘‘nwa moto’’. A big house is ‘’nwa ulo’’. He is not carried away by your wealth. As stated earlier, Isuikwuato people are ‘‘ndi nwanneukwu’’. Very respectful.


Taking time to emphasize these attributes of an Isuikwuato man is in order to set the back drop for analyzing the current of rising criminality in Isuikwuato.

Human Resource:
Isuikwuato community is blessed with a wide array of accomplished Nigerians in various fields of human endeavour spanning Law, Medicine, Engineering, Literature, Environmental Sciences, Economics, etc.

But most importantly and for emphasis during this summit, is the fact that, one very important trait of the Isuikwuato people is their love for military service, enlistment in the police and other paramilitary services. This has earned the community the commonly touted description as ‘‘The Land of Generals’’. The community boasts of such retired officers as Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu; General Ike Nwachukwu, former G.O.C, I Div, former Governor old Imo State and Federal Minister of several portfolios. Our chairman here today, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, the first Chief of Army Staff from the South East is also proudly from Isuikwuato. There is also Navy Captain Chris Osondu, former Governor of Cross River State; AIG, IROHAM, CP Ilozuoke, CP Goddy Okereke among others.

Several others have attained enviable heights in other paramilitary agencies while many more are up coming.


This particular feature of the Isuikwuato people, that is, ‘‘The Land of Generals’’ appellation, is one of the reasons why the Isuikwuato people believe that, they cannot live on the banks of the River Niger and wash their faces with saliva. They believe they have the human resources and the reach to tackle the menace of rising criminality which we are facing in Isuikwuato, today.


Even outsiders underscore the importance of this human resource and are quick to raise questions whenever any security challenges are mentioned in Isuikwuato. ‘‘You have big sons. You don’t have problems.’’ – they will say, and rightly so, all things being equal. Expectations are therefore high and not unexpected. I recall a particular incident in the course of my service years and in my capacity as Director Operations DSS in Abuja. I received a call from the Acting Director of the DSS in Abia State. Remember, I am from Umuobiala in Isuikwuato. He said, I intend to send a report to Abuja but I want you to guide me as you know I am just acting as Director here in Abia. I told him to read what he intended to forward to Abuja.

The report read: ‘‘Eight youth of Umuobiala in Isuikwuato LGA, the home town of the Director Operations, Raymond Nkemdirim, have been arrested for vandalizing oil pipelines in the community’’. Stop! I shouted. Why do you have to mention my name in the report? I told him that, if he does not remove my name from that report, he will find himself in Kaura Namoda.


Well, whether he mentioned my name out of mischief or ignorance, or a misplaced attempt at bootlicking, the fact remains that a superior officer hails from the community and he should either have used his position to check such criminality in his community or perhaps his influence alone should have served as a deterrent to criminal elements. This leads us to the question of whether senior security officers are indeed accorded necessary leverage to exploit existing structures for the security of their communities. This is in view of the attendant embarrassment should their communities come under siege of criminals. Recall the sacking of the home town of a Chief of Defence Staff by terrorists in the recent past and the attendant embarrassment. This class of Nigerians therefore deserve special attention in this respect.

OVERVIEW OF CRIME STATISTICS
As stated earlier, this paper will treat the crime situation in Isuikwuato in the context of influences from state, national and international levels. For better appreciation, let us start from the general crime situation in the African continent and narrow it down to Isuikwuato by assessing available statistics.

UNIVERSAL CRIME STATISTICS
to the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), crime statistics on African countries remain largely inaccurate because of poor response to requests for such statistics by UN member states on the continent. This is unlike the case with American, European and Asian countries.


However, Nigeria and South Africa are among the few with fairly conscious efforts towards recording crime statistics. Nonetheless, on a global scale, crime levels in Africa have been rising steadily over the years. In 2012 for instance, out of half – a – million murder cases recorded globally, 31% occurred in Africa, second to America which recorded 36%. Europe recorded 5%.


Among the twenty nations of the world with the highest crime rates, six are from Africa, namely, South Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Libya. It would appear however, that some of the crime rates in the above African countries are influenced by insurgency and war more than individually initiated crimes. For instance, South Sudan is in a state of war; Nigeria’s situation is related to Boko Haram; while Libya’s case is associated with the fall-out of Gaddafi ouster.

DEGREE OF SAFETY IN AFRICA
The statistics below show crime rates in some African cities for 2016 in terms of crime index (or degree of prevailing fear of crime) and the safety index (or degree of prevailing safety).
Rank
City
Crime Index
Safety Index

1
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
82.31
17.69

2
Durban, South Africa
78.96
21.04

3
Johannesburg, South Africa
78.91
21.09

4
Pretoria, South Africa
78.89
21.11

5
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
71.82
28.18

6
Windhoek, Namibia
71.03
28.97

7
Cape Town, South Africa
70.39
29.61

8
Lagos, Nigeria
65.64
34.36

9
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
64.96
35.04

10
Luanda, Angola
64.91
35.09

11
Nairobi, Kenya
63.55
36.45

12
Tripoli, Libya
58.74
41.26

13
Cairo, Egypt
56.04
43.96

14
Casablanca, Morocco
54.02
45.98

15
Alexandria, Egypt
52.52
47.48

16
Harare, Zimbabwe
51.69
48.31

17
Algiers, Algeria
51.15
48.85

18
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
43.85
56.15

19
Tunis, Tunisia
37.97
62.03

From the above, it is apparent that, South Africa is a far more dangerous place to live in than Nigeria. But, on a general note, the prevalent crimes across Africa are:
Robbery
Kidnapping
Murder
Rape
Bribery and Corruption
Car theft
Illicit drugs
Fraud
Human Trafficking
Let us therefore begin to ask ourselves which of these are now prevalent in Isuikwuato. But, before then, let us look at crime statistics in Nigeria more closely.

NATIONAL CRIME STATISTICS

2016 CRIME STATISTICS IN NIGERIA
REPORTED OFFENCES BY TYPE AND STATE AS AT 2016

STATE

OFFENCE AGAINST PERSONS

OFFENCE AGAINST PROPERTY
OFFENCE AGAINST LAWFUL AUTHORITY
OFFENCE AGAINST LOCAL ACTS

TOTAL NO OF CASES
% SHARE OF TOTAL CASES

LAGOS
15426
22,885
6,756
306
45,373
36.07

FCT
2,984
9,350
843
4
13,181
10.48

DELTA
3911
2,502
1,202
252
7,867
6.25

KANO
1981
2,375
318
243
4,917
3.91

ONDO
1037
1,934
521
1
3,493
2.78

OYO
1377
1,752
314

3,443
2.74

RIVERS
1683
897
271
143
2,994
2.38

BAUCHI
812
1,713
118
14
2,657
2.11

PLATEAU
470
1,938
145

2,553
2.03

ANAMBRA
898
1,413
142
81
2,534
2.01

C/RIVER
1134
1,154
100
35
2,423
1.93

OGUN
1122
1,112
145

2,379
1.89

ADAMAWA
779
1,417
56
7
2,259
1.80

GOMBE
513
1,350
19
356
2,238
1.80

ENUGU
886
1,094
124

2,104
1.67

IMO
954
873
103

1,930
1.53

EKITI
718
1,008
103

1,829
1.45

TARABA
719
998
55
45
1,817
1.44

NIGER
528
1,083
53
105
1,769
1.41

SOKOTO
496
1,055
29

1,580
1.26

BAYELSA
612
837
91
1
1,541
1.23

AKWA IBOM
840
333
232
6
1,411
1.12

NASARAWA
489
725
14
92
1,320
1.05

EBONYI
572
595
44

1,211
0.96

OSUN
258
540
57
333
1,188
0.94

BORNO
423
479
3
269
1,174
0.93

KEBBI
656
370
21
108
1,155
0.92

BENUE
463
497

129
1,089
0.87

KADUNA
338
502
129
37
1,006
0.80

EDO
697
307


1,004
0.80

KWARA
327
614
21
22
984
0.78

YOBE
398
520
18
8
944
0.75

KOGI
294
480
17
7
798
0.63

JIGAWA
321
214
37
74
646
0.51

ZAMFARA
157
303
6
17
483
0.38

ABIA
230
113
21

364
0.29

KATSINA
51
65
4

120
0.10

NATIONAL
45,554
65,397
12,144
2,685
125,778
100.00

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 125,778 cases of crime were recorded in 2016 across Nigeria. 65,397 of those cases were offences against property like stealing, robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property, house breaking, obtaining by false pretence (419). 45,554 of those cases were offences against persons like murder, manslaughter, rape, physical abuse, ritual killings, kidnappings, concealment of birth, etc.
The remaining 12,144 and 2,695 cases were offences against lawful authority and local acts like failure to pay tax, etc.
Interestingly, whereas Lagos State had the highest percentage of crimes at 36.07%, followed closely by the FCT and Delta State with 10.48% and 6.25% respectively, Katsina, Abia, and Zamfara recorded the least cases of crime in 2016 with Katsina having 0.10%, Abia 0.29% and Zamfara 0.38%. In effect, Abia was the second best place to live in Nigeria in terms of being crime free last year. We had only 364 cases out of over 125,000 recorded across the country. These statistics are based on data supplied the National Bureau of Statistics by the Nigeria Police.

ABIA CRIME STATISTICS

Relying further on the statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, we are given a further breakdown of the 364 crimes that occurred in Abia State in 2016 as follows:
(i) Offences against Persons – 230
(ii) Offences against Property – 113
(iii) Offences against Lawful Authority – 21
(iv) Offences against Local Acts – 0
As stated earlier, these crimes constitute 0.29% of the total crimes committed in Nigeria in 2016. One is tempted by these statistics to say, well, our situation in Abia is not bad after all. However, the reality on the ground may seem to controvert these statistics.
But the truth is that crimes have different weights. Whereas Lagos may have recorded the highest number of crimes, those crimes may not have evoked as much public outcry as the ones recorded in Abia for instance. This brings to the fore the role of the real media and social media. The several cases of stealing in Lagos may not evoke as much media hype as the kidnapping of a priest in Abia. Therefore, while crime cases may be fewer in Abia, the weight or severity of the consequences of these crimes in Abia and the attendant media hype would create the impression to the public of a higher crime rate in Abia.
Perhaps that is why Ibekwe once described Abia as the “Kidnapping capital of the South East”. What a tag for a state that recorded about the least incidents of crime in 2016. That tag may however have been apt a few years ago during the reign of the dreaded criminal kidnappers like “ Osisikankwu”. Whether that is still the case today is part of the focus of this discourse.

RISING CRIMINALITY IN ISUIKWUATO

Formal statistics are not immediately available to reflect in a formal manner, the rising incidences of crime in Isuikwuato in the recent past. However, for a people who over the ages prided themselves in their pious abhorrence of crime, even one incident of violent crime is enough to raise the social temperature in the land.
Several communities in Isuikwuato have in the recent past been thrown into outright bewilderment over crimes perpetrated by their own sons. Before now, it was easy to say outsiders were the ones perpetrating heinous crimes in Isuikwuato. Today the picture is different. Let us look at some recent incidents which indeed informed the holding of this security summit in Isuikwuato at this time.

S/No
INCIDENTS
PLACE
DATE

ROBBERY

1.
Robbery activities
ABSU, Uturu
01/03/2016

2.
Robbery activities
ABSU, Uturu
02/03/2016

3.
Robbery/Cult activities
ABSU, Uturu
21/06/2016

4.
Robbery/ Burglary
Ahaba Imenyi
27/06/2016

5.
Robbery incident
Akara
01/08/2016

6.
Robbery incident involving ABSU student, Dike .C. Chidozie
ABSU
24/02/2017

7.
Robbery /Burglary
Amaba
03/03/2017

8.
Robbery behind Century hotel, Amaba
Amaba
16/03/2017

9.
Robbery incident involving Chisom Moses
Amaba, Isuikwuato
20/03/2017

10.
Robbery incident by Ononiwu Kelechi
Up gate, Uturu
22/03/2017

11.
Robbery at ABSU, Uturu
Uturu
23/03/2017

12.
Robbery at Corper’s lodge/ Burglary
At Isu3 High School
30/03/2017

13.
Robbery of Ajala’s Shop/Burglary
Akara, Isuikwuato
05/04/2017

14.
Robbery incident
Akara, Isuikwuato
05/06/2017

15.
Stealing of motorcycle at Ascension Church, Amaba
Amaba, Isuikwuato
13/06/2017

16.
Robbery of motorcycle by Elendu Ogbonna
Akara, Isuikwuato
14/06/2017

17.
Robbery incident
Up gate, Uturu
29/06/2017

18.
Robbery by Adele Oscar of ABSU
Uturu
06/07/2017

CULTIST ACTIVITIES

1.
Cult activities
ABSU, Uturu
03/03/2016

2.
Cult activities
ABSU, Uturu
12/03/2016

3.
Cult activities
ABSU, Uturu
17/05/2016

4.
Cult activities
ABSU, Uturu
15/06/2016

5.
Cult activities involving NwokeTochukwu
ABSU, Uturu
10/03/2017

6.
Cult activities/Clash
ABSU, Uturu
20/03/2017

7.
Cult activities of ABSU
Up gate ABSU, Uturu
14/06/2017

MURDER

1.
Killing of Mercy Chukwu (f)
Ozara
26/09/2016

2.
Beheading of Moses Oyai at Amogugu
Otampa
12/10/2016

3.
Killing of Uchenna Ogbonna
Nunya
13/10/2016

4.
Shooting incident involving Okoro Maxwell
Eluama
25/02/2017

KIDNAP

1.
Kidnap of Vivian Udueze
Umuahia
19/10/2017

RAPE

1.
Rape
ABSU, Uturu
20/07/2016

SUMMARY:

From the trend of occurrences of crimes in Isuikwuato lately, some deductions have also been made as follows:
Car thefts are common particularly, during ceremonies
Robberies between Abia State University and Nkwonta are very rampant.
Cult activities are on the increase
Nunya as a get-away community experiences robberies on the road and in homes/houses as well as pockets of cult activities, etc.
Acha experiences similar occurrences as Nunya.
Ovim, Amaba, Ahaba Imenyi and environs experience breaking into houses/shops at odd times, stealing of borehole Sumo pumps, harassment of people going to their farms, etc.
Eluama is relatively safe because of the local vigilante group, but few cases of attempted murder have also been reported.
Generally, threats on traders, particularly, on market days are on the increase
Hard/illicit drug peddling and use is at an alarming rate.
Fulani herdsmen also pose an emerging threat particularly, to farmers.

The above picture is indeed confounding. However, most worrisome is the incidence of ritual killing. Beyond being seen as a crime for which the perpetrators should be punished lawfully, it is viewed by the indigenes as a taboo, an abomination, for which the land must be cleansed, failing which consequences would follow if not carried out. In fact, some sons of Isuikwuato have been forced to relocate their parents to the cities, due to their loud and strident cries of desecration of the land.

CAUSES OF CRIMES IN ISUIKWUATO

Again, Isuikwuato does not exist in isolation. The causes of crimes in Isuikwuato are no different from what obtains elsewhere. Various studies on causes of crime in Nigeria are consistent in singling out the following factors:
Parenting and Poverty:
Those mostly involved in these crimes are the youth between ages 18 and 45 from low- class or low income family backgrounds and rarely from well-to-do families. That is not to say that the children of the rich are not involved, particularly, those that have to do with drug abuse in the universities.
The family is where the character of the child is shaped to conform to generally accepted social norms. Crime is therefore mostly the fall-out of bad parental upbringing.
Similarly, a child who grows up in a crime-prone neighbourhood is likely to take to crime. In Isuikwuato, I am not sure there are any known communities that are primarily infested with criminals. There no doubt will be some dark spots in some communities but no community here is known for endemic criminality as with the dimension in parts of Mushin and Ajegunle in Lagos.
Poverty most times drives people to desperation and ultimately crime. The situation is not helped by the current economic situation in the country.
Unemployment:
Following from the above, the poor economy breeds poverty, and consequently there is unemployment and under-employment. With over 60% of Nigerian youth not gainfully employed, many are idle and frustrated, and readily take to crime. An idle middle mind is the devil’s workshop. Isuikwuato youth are no exception.

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Bad Joints:
These include beer parlours and homes of some known deviants in various communities who dispense illicit drugs to our youth.

Lack of Equity:
There are glaring cases of inequality across various states of the Nigerian society thus resulting in a recourse to violence and crime to seek equality. At the national level, there is sustained hue and cry over the sharing of the national cake resulting in the recent calls for restructuring. The children of the privileged have more opportunities to climb up the social ladder while the poorer masses continue to sink deeper into the abyss of poverty in a society where those who have better connections are more favoured. As a result, those who cannot readily improve their economic and social status have to take the easy way out and that is crime.

Ethnicity and Clannishness:
Most times, allegations of ethnicity plague various spheres of our national life when in search of jobs, admission to institutions, business opportunities, etc. At the state level, there is also the incidence of persons in authority favouring only persons from their own clans and areas in the allocation of scarce resources. As a result, those who lose their means of livelihood as a result of the biased actions of some highly placed officials are sometimes forced to take to crime. Therefore, if a Local Government Council chairman who hails from Isuikwuato decides to allocate all stalls in the market to Isuikwuato people, excluding the Uturu people, then it would be expected that aggrieved losers in such allocations could take to criminality in the long run.
Ostentatious Living:
There is the tendency for those living in the cities or abroad to come home to flaunt their wealth during festive periods like Easter, Christmas, annual women meetings and the New Yam (Iri-ji) festivals. This breeds envy from the local folk.
Most times, their mates with whom they started life or attended “central school or Anunco” here in Isuikwuato come home with big cars; have put up splendid mansions; married and with children; spoiling their parents with gifts as well as taking titles annually. The attendant envy provokes a desperation in the local folk to meet up, and crime becomes the considered option
Today it is noteworthy that many big houses in Isuikwuato are empty as the children of the owners who schooled abroad no longer want to return to Africa let alone Nigeria or Isuikwuato for that matter. Worse still is even the case of some Isuikwuato children brought up here in Nigerian cities. They don’t even speak the Igbo language and hardly come home. These big empty houses left behind for years are becoming a big temptation to idle youth who know items worth millions of Naira are just being left to rot in these mansions.

Low Self Esteem and Drug Abuse:
Poverty breeds lack of confidence in the youth resulting in low self-esteem which often times pushes them into taking drugs and alcohol to get high. In that state they become vulnerable and easily susceptible to criminality.
Politics:
During electioneering campaigns, some politicians engage the youth as thugs. They are used to intimidate opponents and are sometimes provided lethal weapons. At the end of campaigns, these youths are dumped and not having any visible means of livelihood to resort to, they take to crime with the weapons in their possession.
Advancement in Technology:
Speed in communication nowadays, though marking a giant leap for humanity, has also become an albatross in crime prevention operations. The advent of GSM phones and other technical gadgets now make coordination of crimes by the perpetrators much easier, keeping them sometimes a step ahead of the security agencies.
Similarly, all sorts of security gadgets, which were hitherto the preserve of only the security services, are now commonly found in the open market.

Unfair Court Rulings:
There are cases where persons are jailed wrongly perhaps because of lack of proper legal representation or false accusations. Such persons come out from prison as rebels against the system after serving their terms.

Illegal Arms Trafficking:

While there is no immediate evidence to establish the incidence of arms trafficking in Isuikwuato, it must be noted that one of the factors fuelling crime across the country is the ease with which arms are purchased illegally. We are all witnesses to the recent repeated interceptions of large consignments of arms at the Lagos port. There is no doubt that criminally minded persons know where to purchase these weapons and can readily smuggle them into Isuikwuato for their nefarious activities.

EFFORTS AT COMBATING CRIME IN ISUIKWUATO
A common slogan of the Nigeria Police is ‘‘fighting crime is everybody’s business’’. In effect, the security agencies alone cannot combat crime without the support of the public.
Government:
The importance of security is not lost on the ruling Federal Government in Nigeria which has a three-point campaign agenda to:
Provide economic reform
Fight corruption; and
Provide security.
The Nigerian constitution in Chapter 2 section 14 (2) (b) emphasizes the importance of security where it states that: ‘‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government’’. Of course, we are all aware of the successes being made by the Federal Government thus far in tackling security challenges in the country.
Similarly, Abia State Government’s five cardinal pillars are in sync with the definition of security advanced by Robert McNamara, former President of the World Bank and one-time American Secretary of Defence. McNamara said ‘‘in a modernizing world, security means development’’. He says, ‘‘security is not military hardware, though, it may include it. Security is not military force, though it may involve it. Security is not traditional military activity, though it may encompass it. Security is development. Without development, there can be no security. A developing nation that does not in fact develop simply cannot remain secure’’. Abia State government captures the very essence of McNamara’s postulation in its five cardinal pillars which are hinged on the development of Agriculture, Education, Commerce & Industry, Oil and Gas as well as Infrastructure. In effect, the state government in the pursuit of these key pillars, realizes the importance of development in the enhancement of the security of the state.
In assessing efforts at combating crime in Isuikwuato, it should be taken from a holistic perspective of efforts by both the federal and state government to ensure the safety of the citizens. As noted earlier, the crimes prevailing in
Isuikwuato are also prevalent in other parts of the state. Hence, apart from the traditional crime fighting efforts by the police and other security agencies, the state had occasion in the recent past arising from a siege on the State by a band of dare-devil criminals, to invite federal might to arrest the situation. At the forefront of that on-slaught to dislodge these dare-devils epitomized by the dreaded Obioma Nwankwo popularly known as ‘‘Osisikankwu’’, was our own dear son, Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, then Chief of Army Staff. Abia State is still reaping from the benefits of that initiative. You can now therefore begin to appreciate where the general low incidence of crime in Abia State as reflected in the current records of the National Bureau of Statistics, emanated from.
To sustain the successes achieved, available records indicate that, the Nigeria Police has put in place water-tight measures to keep the crime level in the state low ever since, through several anti-crime operations which have brought several notorious kidnappers and armed robbers to their knees. These operations across the State have no doubt ensured that, Isuikwuato enjoys relative safety.
Local Vigilantes:
On their part, the various communities in Isuikwuato have taken the bull by the horn by establishing local vigilante groups to help checkmate rising criminality. Of note are the efforts of communities like Ahaba, Uturu and Eluama. However, most of the vigilante groups in most communities are not fully functional resulting mainly from paucity of funds. In this respect, sight cannot be lost of the individual efforts of some prominent sons of Isuikwuato in securing their communities through their personal resources. Of particular note is Engr. Ndubuisi Mbaka, CEO Platinum Mortgage Bank. A number of other Isuikwuato sons are equally engaged in similar solo efforts. We say a big thank you to all of you.
TIME TO ACT
Security is not cheap. From the fore-going, there is no doubt that, crimes are thriving in Isuikwuato because the self-help efforts of the various communities towards providing security are hamstrung by paucity of funds. Most times, levies are imposed but before long the funds realized are exhausted and as contributors begin to default in their payments, the gains made fizzle out as fast as they were made. No sooner this happens, than the bad boys, most of whom had been picked up earlier when funds were available, begin to resurface. What then do we do?
Let us therefore look at some options available to us and the way forward:
Agriculture: Agriculture remains the primary occupation of the Isuikwuato people. With the Federal Government sounding loudly a clarion call for a return to agriculture in the face of dwindling oil revenues, Isuikwuato must key in and get its youth meaningfully engaged. While I am aware of spirited efforts to revive agriculture in Abia state, may I use this opportunity to call on the state Government to resuscitate the Ulonna farm settlement on the Umuobiala flank of Isuikwuato LGA. I believe that, this giant farm settlement will engage a considerable number of our youth in Isuikwuato. It is also important that the various communities set up cooperative societies for their agricultural pursuits in order to benefit from palliatives being provided by Government in the agricultural sector. I am aware of some initiatives by Umuobiala, Umuokogbuo, etc in this respect.

Education: According to Mandela, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. It is my plea to our families in Isuikwuato to make sacrifices to ensure that every Isuikwuato child is educated. Those who can afford it should assist the indigent. More scholarships should be provided for our youth. In so doing, we equip these children for a better tomorrow and they will think less of crime.

Infrastructure: One of our major problems is the poor state of infrastructure. Impassable roads, water problems, poor electricity, non-functional hospitals, etc. In fact, it will not be an under-statement to say that Isuikwuato suffers the worst form of erosion menace in Nigeria. Government as we know cannot handle these problems alone. We are beginning to notice a lot of big empty houses in Isuikwuato lately as noted earlier. Rather than this fast accumulating waste, it is my humble plea that those who can afford it begin to channel more of their resources to uplifting infrastructure in our communities.

As much as we appreciate the enormity of the developmental burden on the state government, we in Isuikwuato want to appeal that, we be given prime consideration in the implementation of the programmes contained in the five cardinal pillars of the State Government namely: Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure, Commerce and Industry, Oil and Gas. As noted earlier by Robert McNamara, former U.S Defence Secretary, security is development. Without development, there can be no security.

Traditional Rulers: The traditional institution is key in fighting crime in any community. Traditional rulers as custodians of the culture, the norms, beliefs, ethics and sanctions in the community, play a vital role in the security of their respective communities. They are closer to the people and know when strangers enter the community. However, constitutional constraints hamper their effectiveness. It is therefore important that appropriate constitutional reforms are put in place to effectively harness the potential of this important institution.

Town Unions: The Igbos of the South East are well known for the importance they attach to their town unions all over Nigeria and across the globe. These unions are effective social agents of unity and advancement of the development of our respective communities. We are here today because of the importance we as Isuikwuato sons and daughters attach to the Isuikwuato Development Union (IDU) which has true to expectation timeously championed this cause for arresting the drift in Isuikwuato occasioned by rising criminality among our youth. We should strengthen our respective subsidiary town unions and be more focused in utilizing them for developing our individual communities which will no doubt make for enhanced security.

Neighbouring Communities: As stated earlier, Isuikwuato shares boundaries with a number of communities in Abia as well as Ebonyi and Imo States. If we secure our territories without our neighbours doing same, our efforts will come to nought. It is therefore important that we carry our neighbours along, particularly, as regards manning the several access routes leading into their communities from Isuikwuato through which criminals can escape.

Vigilante Groups: All communities in Isuikwuato should revive their vigilante groups. The current situation where only a few communities have effective vigilante outfits is unacceptable. We must not over burden the few individuals who have been making personal sacrifices for the safety of the rest of us. Let us act collectively to revive our vigilantes under strict supervision by the security agencies.

Dark Spots: Conscious efforts must be made to identify dark spots in our communities where criminals congregate to plan their nefarious activities. We must identify beer parlours, Indian Hemp joints and other red light districts in our communities where these criminals converge and close them down. In this direction, we implore such agencies as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Civil Defense Corps to come to our aid.

University Security: We have noted that, cultists in Abia State University are behind a number of crimes in the area. The security department of the university is no doubt handicapped in addressing the malaise alone. The off-campus residential system in the University further compounds the monitoring of these deviant students. We therefore solicit the support of the state government as well as the security agencies in strengthening existing counter measures put in place by the university authorities.

  1. Social Media Platforms: The social media has lately become a powerful tool in shaping social discourse. Through effective administrators, various social media platforms are playing effective roles in awakening the consciousness of our youth and indeed a wide spectrum of our Isuikwuato people towards the development of our homeland. It is noteworthy that the revolutions recorded in the Arab nations in the not too distant past known as the Arab Springs were fueled primarily by the social media. The effectiveness of this tool cannot therefore be over emphasized. Let us imbibe the positive elements of this tool and place a premium on the quality of administrators that regulate these platforms. So far, Isuikwuato Development Union (IDU) is in very good hands. There is also the Isuikwuato Global Initiative, another platform which is doing well in shaping the aspirations of our youth and has been strident in its calls for the tackling of security challenges in Isuikwuato.
  2. Post Primary Institutions: Asides Abia State University, we must also look closely at what is happening in our secondary schools. A lot of bad habits are learnt at teenage. Who are the teachers? Who are the principals? What is their pedigree? Are our communities looking into their plight? Or, do we just leave everything to the Local Government to deal with. I believe our town unions should begin to play more active roles in what goes on in these institutions as they could serve as potential breeding grounds for criminals if not properly monitored.
  3. Fulani Herdsmen Menace: While this phenomenon has not assumed the dimension recorded in other parts of the country, extra-vigilance must be ensured in order to rid the community of any illegal settlements that may serve as breeding grounds for potential conflicts.
  4. Security Agencies: The fact that we all plied the roads safely to attend this summit is no doubt the result of the collective efforts of the security agencies here present, particularly, the Nigeria Police. Remove police presence from Nigeria today and we become a jungle over-night. We in Isuikwuato appreciate you. We understand your limitations. While lending our voice to improved government funding to enhance your operations, we in Isuikwuato call for your continued assistance in keeping criminals at bay through more proactive measures
    Community policing is the direction to go. It is policing that involves every member of the community. As the saying goes in community policing, every police man is a citizen and every citizen is a police man without uniform. We in Isuikwuato are willing and ready to join you in this enterprise.
    For our big brothers in the military, we want to say a big thank you for the intervention roles you have been playing in internal security to enhance our safety. Special thanks again for providing a platform for this summit, particularly, to the Chief of Army Staff, the GOC 82 Div, the Commandant of this Language School (143 Battalion) as well as your able commanding officers. Your presence alone in Isuikwuato sends jitters down the spines of criminal elements. We therefore appeal for your continued support within your code of operations in maintaining peace and security in Isuikwuato.
    For my constituency, the intelligence community, represented by the DSS, CIIB and perhaps, the DMI, let me reiterate that, wars are won through the availability of credible intelligence. The Israeli Intelligence Service, MOSSAD, once presented a budget to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, which was higher than the entire budget of the Israeli Defence forces put together. The parliament was amazed and demanded an explanation from the MOSSAD boss. His answer was simple. He said, before the Israeli forces win any war, I must have won the war, first. This underscores the importance of intelligence in the context of security operations. I therefore urge the intelligence community to sharpen their information collection efforts with a view to preventing the various threats to security from occurring.
    Security is a collective effort and no single agency can do it alone. I call for active collaboration and synergy, not just among the police, the military and the DSS, but also among all concerned agencies like the NDLEA, NSCDC, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, FRSC, Man-o-War, our vigilante groups, NGOs and all groups engaged in maintaining peace and security one way or the other.
  5. Isuikwuato Security Trust Fund: As noted earlier, security is not cheap. We cannot achieve our dream of making Isuikwuato safe if we are not ready to make personal sacrifices. We must therefore task ourselves because nobody else will do it for us. At best, they can provide the enabling environment.
    Accordingly, it is my submission that Isuikwuato should set up an Isuikwuato Security Trust Fund to which all town unions must contribute an annual sum. The trust fund should be empowered to articulate an effective security blue-print from the resolutions reached here today and begin to raise funds through all legitimate means it deems fit like launchings and accessing existing local and international funds and facilities for the maintenance of peace and security in Isuikwuato.

Thank you and God Bless!

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