Alex Otti, the Abia State governor, has tasked security agencies to flush out criminality from the state.
Otti decried the spate of criminal activities in parts of the state, especially Aba and Umuahia, the state capital.
According to a statement issued by the governor’s Special Adviser on Strategic Communications, Okey Kanu, it is becoming rampant for criminal elements to engage in illegal collection of levies, phone snatching, ‘one-chance’ operations with tricycles (Keke) and kidnapping for ransom.
Given that security is one of the key programmes of his government, Otti said he is determined to secure life and property of Abians. To this end, he directed security agencies to deal decisively with criminal elements that create unnecessary fear and panic among the citizenry, thereby deterring progress in the state.
The governor, however, assured that with the arrival of a new Police Commissioner, Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, hard times await criminals. He consequently called on traditional rulers, presidents-general of town unions and landlords to partner the state government and security agencies to ensure a crime-free Abia.
According to him, in line with his campaign promises, he is poised to creating job opportunities for the teeming youths through funding of Small and Medium Scale Businesses (SMEs), as well as investment in private sector driven investments.
Acts of criminality have been on the increase in the state since end of the general elections, followed by Otti’s ban on touting, illegal revenue collection, fuel subsidy removal, un-paid workers salaries and pensions, among others. These have affected the livelihood of youths and workers, forcing them into crime. The new police commissioner has, however, assured residents of security, tasking them to give timely information that would enable security agencies address the menace.