Worried over the worsening insecurity in the land, stakeholders have called for the devolution of power to local governments after a security summit in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, for effective security of lives and property in the state.
The stakeholders condemned in strong terms the attacks on security formations in the State and commiserated with the Nigerian Police, other security agencies, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who have lost personnel and assets.
They emphatically stated that such dastardly acts are not healthy for the state and the southeast region.
In a communique issued to newsmen at the end of the Abia State Security Roundtable hosted by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and chaired by former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika (Rtd), they noted the existence of Anti-Open Grazing Law of Abia State and recommended its full enforcement by relevant security agencies to forestall herders and farmers clashes across the state.
According to the communique, the Summit recommended a new security architecture by the state government that will incorporate a community based vigilante services, Homeland Security, and Abia State Safety Alert System (ABSAS), all of which will work in conjunction with the statutory security agencies to enhance the security and safety of the State.
The stakeholders commended the state government for its untiring efforts so far in tackling the headlong security situation in the State through credible support to security agencies in the State, constant interface and interactions as well as launching of a number of home-grown solutions to the problem of insecurity.
They urged security agencies to effectively manage information given to them by informants to avoid backlash against the informant. They also called for the establishment of an effective incentive system to encourage more people to come forward with information on the activities of criminal elements in the State.
The Stakeholders further called on the citizenry to continue to work with the security agencies in Abia State in the area of providing information, noting that perpetrators of these nefarious acts are from amongst the people and with a robust information management system, it will be easy to apprehend them.
Parts of the communique stated, “the Abia State Government conscious of its primary constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of its citizens and visitors, convened a Three-Day Stakeholders Summit on Security to brainstorm with experts on the subject and proffer solutions on how to sustain a peaceful and safe Abia State.
“The Summit commended law enforcement officers serving in Abia State for their professionalism and dedication to their duty even in the face of obvious targeted attacks and urged them to remain steadfast in their primary responsibility of securing the state and its citizens.
“The Summit urged traditional rulers in Abia State to continue to play active roles in securing their domains noting that they are very important in the security equation because of their proximity to the people and knowledge of people resident in their domains.
“The Summit urged greater inter-agency collaboration among security agencies in Abia State. It called for the creation of a robust central information sharing system that will enable other security agencies to be abreast of efforts of other agencies.
The Summit urged the Abia State Government to, apart from the Abia State Security Council, constitute an Abia State Security Advisory Committee made up of serving and retired senior security officers from the State to continue to advise the State Government on security issues based on their experiences.