Stop Arming Youths, Imo Govt. Warns Community Leaders
Imo State government has warned leaders to desist from arming youth of the state. Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona gave the warning while addressing stakeholders in war-ravaged Agwa clan, Oguta Local Government Area of the State, during a working visit on Tuesday.
D-Gov chating with two of the Traditional Rulers, Commissioner of Police and other leaders during the visit
According to him, part of the problem “is that some of the youths armed by some of the leaders have become uncontrollable.”
“I am aware that some of the youths causing trouble here were armed by some of the leaders. One of the dangers in arming any youth to do your bidding is that at some point he would become too strong for you to control and he would be doing his own bidding. I want to advise our leaders to stop arming the youths, because if you allow your son to slap an elderly person, time would come when he would slap you because you had taught him to slap an elderly person and nothing would happen”, he said.
Deputy Governor buttressing a point during the visit while others watch
He promised that Imo State Government will restore peace in the war-torn community, even as he called on people of the area to support the efforts of Government.
The Deputy Governor noted that the clan has been facing serious security challenges, describing efforts of the leaders of the area in addressing the security challenges as commendable.
“The state government under His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha will ensure that Agwa is safe for the people and conducive for business and government investment. We shall take over this Police Station and complete it and put security here so that the people and whatever investment we make here shall be safe.”
Deputy Governor addressing stakeholders during the visit
Describing Agwa indigenes as very resourceful, the Deputy Governor lamented the high rate of unemployment in the area, promising to tackle the challenge of insecurity and unemployment in the area.
“These people are very resourceful, but when you have a group of youths that are unemployed you would have this kind of situation. The moment this building is completed and operational we shall move quickly and develop this place and find a way of engaging the youths in a way that they will be useful to themselves, the society and the government.”
He however called on the youths to drop their arms and give the government a chance to develop the place, promising that the state government has great plans to engage them.
“I advise young men to drop their arms, embrace peace and give the government the opportunity to develop this place. We have better things to give you. Just give us a little time and we will develop this place. Those who want to go to school would do so and those who want to learn one trade or the other would have a conducive atmosphere to do so. We shall set up industries and empower you meaningfully. Under the Governor Ihedioha administration, we shall provide electricity here.”
One of the buildings destroyed during the crises
Also speaking, Imo State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladado assured that the police will restore peace and order in Agwa, promising that the state command would intensify security presence in the area.
“This clan has a record of high rate of crime, but we shall move quickly to address the situation. We shall have interim measures to restore sanity in this place. From today, we shall improve Police presence here. We will establish SARS, Anti-Cultism or Anti-Kidnapping here, pending the actualization of the divisional police.”
Adding his voice, traditional Ruler of Obudi autonomous community, Agwa, HRH Eze I.O. Asor, who spoke on behalf of the six traditional rulers of Agwa clan, said the visit was remarkable.
He lamented the high rate of criminality in the area, saying that the activities of criminals were beyond what they could control.
“The activities of these boys are bigger than we can handle. Since 2015, we do not have police here and we had to go to Oguta or Ohaji-Egbema to get police. It is a distance. The rate of crime here is alarming, from cultism, vandalism, rape, robbery and others. This clan has six autonomous communities but the boys have chased away five of the traditional rulers and I am the only one left here”, he said.
One of the damaged building
In his speech, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of Oguta Local Government Area, Hon. Hillary Eberendu expressed gratitude for the Deputy Governor’s visit, assuring that the Interim Management Committee would cooperate with the State Government in ensuring that normalcy returns to the area.
The Deputy Governor was accompanied to the area by the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Ladado, senior police officers, political leaders and aides.
Highlight of the event was a visit to some of the communities ravaged by crises, among which are: Umuofeke Autonomous Community and Obeakuma in Mbano Autonomous Community.
Walter Duru, Ph.D
Adviser, Communications to the Deputy Governor