Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has assured residents and visitors carrying on businesses in the state of their safety. He stresses that his administration had already placed security agencies on the highest alert to forestall security breaches and safeguard their lives and property.
The governor, who further urged them to erase everything about sit-at-home in the state from their memories, said the government was doing everything necessary to liaise with other neighbouring states to dislodge criminals from all their hideouts.
Governor Mbah gave these assurances on Thursday in Enugu at a meeting with the Presidents-General (PGs) of all the autonomous communities in the state, even as they pledged their support to end the illegal sit-at-home order being enforced by hoodlums and make the state attractive to investors.
He lamented the devastating impacts of the unlawful sit-at-home, such as impoverishing citizens and scaring potential investors, saying that his administration would deal ruthlessly with criminal elements disturbing the state’s peace.
According to him, there’s a connection between sit-at-home and poverty among the people, warning that security operatives would continue to strike hooligans victimisingvictimizing the public over a wrong and unjustifiable cause.
He wondered why those sitting in the comfort of their homes somewhere overseas would be hurting innocent people in a sponsored bid to destabilisedestabilize the region, saying it’s only those living in the delusion that would hide under the guise of fighting for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release to commit atrocities.
Mbah reiterated his resolve to make the state attractive for private investors, create jobs, train the youths on digital transformation, and restore the lost glory the state was known for through his programmes and policies.
“It is time to take ownership of our future. It’s time to say enough is enough to this menace because we’re using the sit-at-home to marginalise ourselves. How does this illegal sit-at-home by criminals affect the Federal Government or the economic planning in Abuja? Don’t be deceived by people who want to make you believe they’re fighting for your cause.
“They’re criminals sponsored to destabilise our state, region and people. We must resist them and say, enough is enough. We must erase everything about sit-at-home from our memories and return to our industry, creativity and commerce culture.
“We did say to you that we have plans to move the state from a public sector to a private sector driven economy by growing the gross domestic product sevenfold. We can only achieve this humongous and ambitious plan in an atmosphere of peace and security.
“So I call on you to galvanise your communities and tell them that there is no such thing as sit-at-home, whether on Monday or any other day.
“With our resolve here today, we can collectively end sit-at-home by overcoming fear and not allowing anyone to make us inferior without our consent.
“With peace and security, we can generate enough wealth, create employment, engage our people meaningfully, and achieve our promises to the people,” the governor added.
Responding to the governor, Sir Eze Solomon, one of the PGs who spoke on behalf of the association of town unions in Enugu West Senatorial Zone, commended the governor for his proactive approach to curbing insecurity and ensuring citizens were protected from hoodlums.
He lamented the absence of police presence in rural communities, urging the state to deploy more security agencies to strengthen the people’s confidence.
On his part, Dr Barth Nwankwo appreciated Mbah for the plans and policies his administration had rolled out just a few days in office. He maintained that they were ready to partner with the state and local governments to flush out marauders in their localities.
While taking turns to talk, Hon. Isaac Onyia, Hon. Ejike Iloh, Hon. Ogbodo Arinze, Chief Bony Edeh and Barr. Pauly Eze urged the governor to embark on an aggressive sensitisation programme, particularly in rural areas, to educate the people on the need to go about their regular businesses as sit-at-home had become a thing of the past.
“We want to assure the governor that we are in support of the decision to end sit-at-home, and we will work to deliver on that,” they said.
The PGs appealed to the governor to reorganise, train, equip and strengthen community policing through Neighbourhood Watch, Forest Guard and vigilante groups.