Abia Deserves A ‘Disaster Area’ As Criminals Take Over
They have told us that Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji has built a new society of law and order. They sufficed that to say that Abia State is standing tall, as a model state, in the federation, under him. These statements are such that we have heard and continue to hear from the governor's horn blowers. (ThisDay: "Orji's Model State of Law and Order", 14 Apr 2013).
We are deafened with their noises of how the state has become a haven of peace and tranquility, and that the people now open their doors and windows wide and sleep with their two eyes closed. But that are falsities.
What Abia State has become under Gov. T.A Orji is sad and qualifies to be declared a Disaster Area, as hoodlums have taken over the whole of the state, but especially Aba, the pummeled commercial hub of the state.
“In Abia State, crime has become the order of the day, with the alarming and ever-increasing crime wave. For the innocent citizen, it is like a cockroach wading through a congregation of roosters. Armed robbery, kidnapping illicit drug dealing, child trafficking and now the fastest growing crime in the state – baby factories – pose a serious threat to the existence and image of the state, as well as the safety of its citizens.” (Osun Defenders: "Criminals take over Abia State". Sep 29 2013).
The reputable media outfit went further to say that criminals spring in dozens in Abia and are fast spreading across all nooks and crannies of the state like wildfire. A day hardly passes without the police or other security agencies arresting or parading criminals and kidnappers.
“Since the exposure of baby factories and child trafficking in Abia State some18 months ago, not less than 80 young girls have been paraded by the police and all of them were arrested at local hospitals and maternity homes built and managed by people who claim to belong to the Christian faith.
“In addition, most of these teenagers whose ages range between 13 and 20 years, claim to be students of either secondary schools or tertiary institutions. What agitates the mind therefore is why these under-aged ladies have decided to make money through such means, abandoning their education.” (Osun Defenders: "Criminals take over Abia State". Sep 29 2013).
The answer to why these young girls are abandoning their schooling may be giving to the lackadaisical approach with which the government of Gov. Orji has been handling the educational system in that state, without a day passing and we do not hear that either the students school fees have been increased, the tutors are not paid their salaries of many months, and so on.
The crime level in Abia State saw to a man specialised in issuing fake vehicle plate numbers. Charles Ubani was arrested for printing out fake vehicle number plates bearing the same serial numbers to people. (Channels Television; September 24, 2013).
The way education is handled in Abia State might not be unconnected with the reason, at least 12 girls, including a 14-year-old JSS 2 student of a secondary school at Aba, were reportedly picked up by the police at the Isaac Okwuonu maternity home at Ogbor Hill Aba on Monday, September 23.
“19- year-old Precious Ogbonna who lives at 190 Cameroon Road; 20-year-old Mary Dickson of 28 Akpa Road Ogbor Hill Aba; Happiness Chinyere, 19 years, of Umuire Umuoba in Isiala Ngwa South; 20-year-old Goodluck Erondu of Umuagu Umuoba Isiala Ngwa South; 19-year old Gift Lawrence of 15/17 Igwebuike Street, off Ohanko Road, Aba; 14-year-old Favour Kalu of No 28 Enugu Street/Obolies Road Aba, and Ann Okechukwu of Ohuru Isimiri in Obingwa, were among the 12 pregnant girls arrested on Monday at the at the maternity home.” (Osun Defenders: "Criminals take over Abia State". Sep 29 2013).
Others were given as: “Rose Ubani of Avo Mgoko, Itu Ngwa in Obingwa LGA; Uchechi Omwunali of Umuire Eziama Ntigha in Isiala Ngwa North LGA; Favour David of Nkanu Amaodu Awkananaw, Enugu State; Chikodi Samuel of Akpaa Mbator in Obingwa LGA, and Victor Okoro of Okobumo Essien Udim LGA, Akwa Ibom State.”
Without sounding detractive, the Osun Defenders narrated that even the Commissioner of Police, Abia Sate Command, Mr. Usman Tilli Ababakar, confirmed this ugly state that Abia has become, when he told journalists that the suspects were rounded up at Isaac Okwuonu's Hospital and Maternity home situated at No 127 Ikot Ekpene Road Ogbor Hill, Aba, between September 17 and 18. The media further frowned at how kidnapping has become another shoddy aspect of Gov. Orji's Abia State, where virtually everyone now lives in fear in the state irrespective of social status.
“In Abia, kidnappers can take persons hostage for as low as the sum of N20, 000. Kidnapping in the state has assumed an alarming dimension which has received widespread condemnations from well meaning people of Nigeria and even the international community.
The first reported case of kidnapping took place on September 27, 2008, at Aba involving the kidnap of 15 school children, who were later released, perhaps, after the payment of a ransom. And ever since then, there have been cases of kidnapping involving women, children, the wealthy and foreigners.” (Osun Defenders: "Criminals take over Abia State". Sep 29 2013).
It is no gainsaying that Gov. Orji's Abia State has become a place of crime and criminality in the recent times, making residents and investors to look elsewhere. Another mayhem in the state is the aspect of dearth of motorable roads, not even pedestrians are liable to use them. Dirt and filth are other names for the state. Touts are known to be the logo of the state, as they have taken over the activities of the state.
The state has broken down, yet, Gov. Orji and his horn blowers are telling Nigerians other stories as they augur well with them, with irresponsibility and insensitivity. In a report, it was “Criminal gangs are reportedly recruiting unemployed youths who pay fees ranging from N40, 000 to get guns to start their criminal activities.” People say that Aba has become 'Aba(ndoned)'.
There is no need for anyone to direct his or her blame to anyone or group, but Gov. Orji. He is the chief security officer of the failed state. Excesses of kidnapping and rape of the government have also characterised the activities of the government, making Abia State a no-go state; and the crime activities have gone beyond the security apparatuses, and declaration of Disaster Area will be suitable for the state.
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer, Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]