In a concerted effort to curb the escalating insecurity crisis in the southeastern region of the country, the governors of the southeast, along with the House of Representatives ad hoc committee and key security agencies, convened urgent meetings yesterday in Enugu and Abuja.
During the meeting, the House of Representatives ad hoc committee, led by Chairperson Obi Agocha, engaged in a dialogue with the Chief of Army Staff to address the surge in violent crimes perpetrated by gunmen and criminal elements associated with IPOB and ESN, which pose a grave threat to the stability of the South-East region.
Agocha, speaking from Abuja, emphasized the urgency of tackling insecurity that has cast a shadow over Abia, particularly addressing banditry, assassination, kidnapping, and various crimes that have shaken the foundation of the region. He highlighted the need for a collaborative approach involving security agencies and all stakeholders to effectively combat this menace, acknowledging that a collective effort is essential for a lasting solution.
Expressing his concerns, Agocha revealed that criminal elements like IPOB and Eastern Security Network frequently operate in Umunneochi, a community in Abia, before retreating to neighboring states, making cross-border cooperation imperative.
Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff, assured the committee that concerted efforts are being made to bring an end to the range of criminal activities including kidnapping and banditry that have plagued the South East. He pledged that all security agencies are working relentlessly to restore peace to the region.
Lagbaja, represented by Brigadier General Gabriel Olufemi Esho, Deputy Director of Operations at Army Headquarters, acknowledged the gravity of the situation and highlighted the joint operations being carried out by security agencies to curtail kidnapping incidents.
However, the security agencies’ representatives pointed out the challenge of limited cooperation from local communities where these crimes are rampant, hindering effective law enforcement.
In a separate development, the South East Governors convened a meeting in Enugu, collectively committing to intensify their efforts against the prevailing insecurity. They emphasized a collaborative approach with the federal government and other stakeholders to decisively combat the crisis. The Governors called on security agencies not to relent in their pursuit of stability.
The alarming trend of burning houses, targeting politicians, traditional leaders, and residents in Imo State, continues to raise concerns. The Imo State Police Command has vowed to apprehend the culprits responsible for these acts of arson and bring them to justice. Despite these challenges, efforts are ongoing to restore security and stability in the region.
Stay tuned for further updates on these critical developments as authorities work tirelessly to address the pressing issues of insecurity and violence in the Southeast.