By ANDY NWOGHA, Abakaliki
Following the recent incessant attacks on police stations accross the state, Ebonyi State Government on Wednesday April 7, 2021 challenged the Nigeria Police Force, of the State Command to defend themselves and stations or face the disciplinary actions.
This was part of the outcome of the joint state emergency security council meeting held at the Executive Chambers, old Government House, Abakaliki.
Briefing Journalists after the meeting, the secretary to Ebonyi state government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala and the Commissioner for Internal Security, Boarder Peace and Conflicts Resolution, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha said that Council frowned at the current security situation in the state and have resolved to establish vigilante across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state to mitigate the current security challenges.
He stated further that aside establishing vigilante, the state government has procured over 80 sienna buses and 30 Hilux vans to be distributed to vigilantes and Police formation across the state to enable them combat the act of insecurity in the state.
Ugbala said: “The council had extensive discussions on the establishment of vigilantes and we want to take our security from the grassroot the way it has always traditionally been done. Every community in Ebonyi state is to have five vigilantes and that will give us a total of 700 vigilantes at the 13 local government areas of Ebonyi state.
“The state will equally set 700 vigilantes across the 13 LGAs and another 300 at the urban area making it a total of 1000 vigilante members. The essence of it is that all the necessary facilities that can help them do their work better including mobility and training will be instituted through the Ministry of Internal security immediately. The vehicles have already been purchased by the government to make sure that they are strategically located in all the corners in the state to ensure that our people are not attacked by bandits.
“The council resolved that the police in Ebonyi state and other security agencies should do their best to protect their police stations, that any police station that allows the division or area command to be attacked, the government will have no option than to allow such division or command to be closed down.
“The reason is that our security agencies have the primary responsibilities of protecting not only their stations or personnel working with them but our citizens but where they cannot even protect themselves, it is a big problem because they are trained for that and government agreed that if the agencies allowed their facilities to be attacked, then Ebonyi government will be requesting for close down of such station or area command while the officers working in such places will face disciplinary actions.
“We encourage security agencies to have a combined security guide at each of the police stations and area commands throughout the state to safeguard their facilities. The council equally resolved that every police station should make effort to clear from the facilities, their division area command to clear it 200 radius away from the station. A situation where police stations and area commands are allowed to be surrounded by bushes, will give room for insecurity’ he stated.
On his part, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha said that the security council under the state Governor, Engr David Nweze Umahi also mandated him and the commissioner of police, Aliyu Garba to move round the police formation across the state and check out for dilapidated structure for immediate repair and renovation.
The Commissioner revealed further that the council also approved the immediate installation of solar panels and CCTV cameras in all the police formation in the state among other things.
He reiterated the resolve of the state government to full implementation of law prohibiting open grazing and movement of cows in the state to help checkmate the clashes between herders and farmers and the attendant security challenges in the state.
Meanwhile, the meeting was attended by the thirteen Council Chairmen,sixty four Development Center Coordinators, Traditional Rulers and stakeholders of various communities.