Recently we have been hit with the very sad news that this past Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, the Kwara State Police Commissioner Chinwike Asadu was shot dead in Amorji Nike, Enugu, while his police orderly, Aloha Olaniyi, and his driver, Oliver Omeh were seriously wounded in what appears to be an assassination. This was an unfortunate and senseless killing, a terrible act indeed! We pray for the repose of the soul of the brother Police Commissioner, Mr. Chinwike Asadu. We also pray for the quick recovery to good health of his police orderly, Aloha Olaniyi, and his driver Oliver Omeh. It is heartening to note that the new Enugu State Police Commissioner, Mr Tonye Ebitubituwa, has immediately ordered his men to do everything possible to apprehend the dastardly killers. We pray that the criminals will soon be arrested and brought to justice, and that God provides the family of the slain Police Commissioner with the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
But surprisingly and unfortunately some of Governor Chime’s habitual detractors (mainly from the long discredited and moribund Ebeano Organization and their latest incarnation the Save Enugu Group) have mischievously begun to cite Mr. Asadu’s assassination as reason to question Governor Chime’s commitment to providing security in Enugu State. At least one obviously sponsored blogger has recently publicly asserted the unacceptable claim that Mr. Asadu’s assassination is evidence of (according to the blogger) “a reign of terror and insecurity and confusion in Enugu all because of gang rule in Enugu” and that “Enugu is no longer safe” (all the blogger’s words).
But, fellow citizens, for the opposition to even attempt to spin this unfortunate killing to score undeserved political points is to say the least quite outrageous! Granted, this killing happened in Enugu State, but to use that as a basis to question Governor Chime’s well-documented commitment to state-wide security, and thereafter to conclude that the crime is evidence of a “reign of terror and insecurity and confusion in Enugu all because of gang rule in Enugu” and that “Enugu is no longer safe”, is to unfairly mischaracterize and unnecessarily spin this terrible crime perhaps to an unwholesome and extremist level!
As anyone that resides here in Enugu can testify there is no reign of terror of any sort in Enugu. There is no confusion or insecurity anywhere in Enugu. In fact Enugu is relatively safe and this is mainly because of the efforts that Gov Sullivan Chime has expended and continues to expend to reduce crime to zero in Enugu State and make Enugu the safest city it can be. It is on record that Gov Chime has routinely gone the extra mile in his capacity as Governor to fight crime and provide security in Enugu State. Gov Chime demands and receives weekly security reports from the police. He meets weekly with the police to discuss the security situation in Enugu State. He constantly provides material support and institutional support to the Enugu State Police.
Gov Chime has at different intervals donated over 100 Hilux trucks to all the security agencies in Enugu state, along with ultra-modern communication gadgets, and other crime-detection and crime-prevention equipment. He has made sure that these donations are spread among the Police, Army, Air Force, Civil Defence etc. These security agencies have been organized to carry out joint patrols in the urban areas and even into the rural areas. They have been able to take a big bite out of crime because Governor Sullivan Chime has always equipped the agencies adequately.
It will therefore be recalled that almost immediately upon assumption of office in 2007, Gov Chime donated 50 Hilux vehicles and thousands of sundry communication and logistical equipment to the Enugu State Police. He also instigated corporations such as banks, insurance companies etc. to chip in and support government’s campaign against crime in Enugu State, resulting in an additional 20 plus vans donated by Enugu-based corporations to the Enugu Police.
In addition in July 2010 Gov Chime handed over 25 Hilux vans to the then Enugu State Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Danazumi J. Doma. The vans were all fitted with modern communication equipment which enhances collaboration and cooperation among security agencies.
Also in June 2011, Governor Chime again donated 35 brand new patrol vehicles and one hundred communication sets to the Enugu Police. This prompted the Enugu State Commissioner of Police at that time to declare that ” that the Governor has continued to show an UNCOMMON solidarity with the police and other security agencies in the state in the fight against crime and criminal elements that the
Governor’s disposition to security issues in the state has challenged officers and men of the force to develop a higher level of commitment and devotion to their duties adding that they have now set new standards in the effort to combat crime that that the police owed Governor Chime a duty to continue to obtain excellent results in their lines of duty that the support the police has continued to receive from Governor Sullivan Chime has been EXCEPTIONAL. That Chime has shown an EXTRAORDINARY commitment to assisting the security agencies more especially the police to combat crime in Enugu.
And as I write, Gov Chime has lined up further equipment and material support to be provided to the Enugu Police, yet again. Some of these ultra-modern equipment are currently in store at the Government House, Enugu and will be handed over to the security agencies very soon.
On the other hand, since coming to office, Gov Chime has implemented a community policing program that has contributed to an aggressive reduction of crime in Enugu State. He has so far inaugurated several neighborhood watch/ vigilante groups in the rural areas, and as many neighbourhood associations in the urban areas. These groups are charged with the responsibility of monitoring activities and security in their individual domains. The idea being that nobody knows the domains better than the occupants that reside there. This has drastically reduced crime in the state. In fact it was the security consciousness of one of these neighbourhood watch groups set up by Gov Chime (particularly the group at Ogboelu Abbah community in Udenu Local Government Area, Enugu State) that saved Enugu State from the nefarious Boko Haram sect whose members were intercepted while on a mission to bomb the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. According to reports, the operatives of the neighbourhood watch group had accosted a strange face in the community and on interrogation, the stranger confessed that he is indeed a Boko Haram member on a mission to the Southeast to carry out their threat to bomb the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
Also under Gov Chime, closed circuit TV cameras have been introduced in strategic locations in Enugu to aid in crime deterrence, detection, and investigation. These cameras are now well known to the Enugu State public and have helped to deter the citizens from initiating criminal behavior. This has also helped to reduce incidents of crime in the state. Please click on the links below and see for yourself: http://youtu.be/yQsRpBFwLEc , http://youtu.be/dVUtYs23BEU , http://youtu.be/Gps_yoQIBWQ , http://youtu.be/Em96W-Xm6WU .
Additionally under Gov Chime, Enugu State has initiated the passing of a law to compel wireless telecommunication carriers operating in Enugu State to provide information to law enforcement agencies in the state. Under the law, carriers must respond to legitimate requests for information made by entities empowered to obtain call information in the course of investigating a crime. The law requires that wireless telephone carriers respond within 24 hours upon receiving a request made by designated law enforcement officials for information regarding calls made by any subscriber who is a target of a criminal investigation. The law specifically requires that carriers cooperate with the state attorney general, the state director of public prosecution (DPP), the state commissioner of police as well as the director of the State Security Service (SSS). Police sources have since praised Gov Chime and his aides for working tirelessly to get the law passed and for being in the forefront of crime prevention. A state prosecutor recently praised Governor Chime saying “…Governor Sullivan Chime enacted this visionary law in order to assist the police and other investigators to gain an upper hand against kidnappers and other criminals. It is a major tool in the war against kidnappers, and police can tell you that they have used it to track down many participants in kidnappings.” In fact even the Nigerian National Assembly and other states have been called upon to emulate Enugu State by passing similar laws to ensure that criminals who employ mobile phones to commit crimes are speedily fished out.
Gov Chime has also sought to extend his security umbrella even to Enugu State indigenes that reside outside Enugu State. Not too long ago, in the wake of Boko Haram onslaught, 177 indigenes of Enugu State were rescued from Maiduguri, Borno State and returned to Enugu in three luxury buses provided on the orders of Governor Sullivan Chime. Among the returnees were about 70 children of various. The returnees expressed gratitude to Gov Chime for his quick response to their distress call saying that his intervention had saved them from certain death or injury. Spokesman for the group and President of the Enugu State Union in Maiduguri, Mr. Paul Igwesi said, “We thank God that we are alive to see this day and we cannot thank Governor Sullivan Chime enough for making it possible for us to escape from danger and get back to our home soil.
In the same vein Gov Chime has also been sensitive to all ethnic and religious communities that reside in Enugu State. Through various policies, projects and programmes, and their implementation, he ensures that every resident of Enugu State including all religious or ethnic minorities are safe and secure. On January 2012 the Islamic community in Enugu State had sent a special letter to Governor Sullivan Chime thanking Governor Sullivan Chime and the government and people of Enugu State for ensuring that peace and security reigned in the state adding that Muslims in the state had never experienced crises or had cause to regret their stay in the state.
But besides these activities directed at bolstering law enforcement, Gov Chime has also approached the issue of security in a more holistic manner in full recognition of the fact that law enforcement is but just one aspect of the wider issue of societal security. In this realm Gov Chime’s efforts regarding infrastructural security has to be mentioned first. Upon assumption of office in 2007, Governor Sullivan Chime inherited a state-wide infrastructure and road network that was in an extremely deplorable condition. The road-network was a notorious source of insecurity to the people of Enugu State as they were practically un-motorable death-traps that ended many motorists’ and pedestrians’ lives prior to 2007. But since Governor Sullivan Chime assumed power he began and has continued on a very aggressive and now legendary road rehabilitation and redevelopment project in Enugu State. He has also constructed sidewalk pavement walk-ways for pedestrians. He has also installed street lights on over 95% of the urban roads. The result of all this is that road accidents have been reduced by almost 90% on our roads. The street lights have also helped to deter crime and has aided in crime prevention. In addition a night economy which was virtually non-existent in Enugu State prior to Governor Sullivan Chime has emerged, and markets have extended their open times to nighttime, economic activities have increased during night time, and thus more people are able to sustain themselves via the night economy. All of this has reduced crime and made the people more safe and secure.
In terms of educational security, Gov Chime has introduced free primary and junior-secondary school education for all Enugu State residents. This means that more youths who were unable to go to school for lack of funds are now able to go to school instead of turning to the streets and crime. Governor Chime has been releasing counterpart funds for the Universal Basic Education projects in both primary and secondary schools in Enugu State. He has provided science kits to over 300 junior and senior secondary schools. He has continually provided generators, computer desks, and computers to numerous schools in the state. Recently he provided a van/ bus to the management of every primary, and secondary school in Enugu State (over 400 vehicles). He has recruited additional teachers into the education system. For secondary schools he has recruited over 2500 additional teachers. He has established the Enugu State Students Scholarship and Loans Board and has granted post-secondary scholarship to numerous indigent students. He is renovating hundreds of classroom blocks all over the state as well as building new ones. Putting all this together it is clear that by his aggressive moves in the educational sector Governor Sullivan Chime has improved the quality of life in Enugu State, improved the economy of the state, and empowered the youths. This has reduced crime and made Enugu State more safe and secure.
4. As for food and agricultural security, Governor Sullivan Chime has been equally unrelenting. Governor Sullivan Chime has declared an official goal that he wants Enugu State to be self-sufficient in food production and to become a food exporting state by 2015. In pursuit of this goal, he has purchased and distributed over 100 tractors with full implements to Enugu State’s farmers. He has purchased over 1000 cassava grating machines which have been distributed to rural farmers. He has paid hundreds of millions of naira as counterpart funds for various agricultural programs including, the Root and Tuber Expansion Programme, FADAMA III, the Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP) and the National Programme on Food Security. He has established the College of Agriculture at Iwollo, Enugu State. He is providing micro-credit grants to rural farmers in collaboration with the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Rural Development Bank. He initiated the Enugu State Green, project a massive afforestation and exotic specimen programme. He is paying the state’s share of the fund for the Cassava Mosaic Disease for IITA projects in the state. He has signed an MOU with AFCOT, an Indian firm for the establishment of a tractor assembly plant at Akwuke, Enugu State. He has trained a number of Enugu State youth in agricultural and allied disciplines at the Songhai Institute in Benin Republic. The youth are now employed in various agricultural projects across the state. He is introducing an Enugu State Farmer database that has revolutionized farmer welfare as every farmer is now documented and they are now not left out of government programmes. Governor Sullivan Chime is establishing 21 Green Cities in the state, and one mother farm at Heneke lake area. He is rehabilitating a government-pilot fish farm, constructing a fish hatchery, and fish feed mill all at Nike Lake area, Enugu State. Gov Sullivan is doing all this and more than can be itemized here. As a result Enugu State now produces about 3.2 tonnes of cassava annually, making Enugu State the leading state in cassava production in South East, Nigeria. There is more and more food on Enugu State tables. More people are now employed in Agriculture and food production. This, undoubtedly, has reduced crime and made Enugu State more safe and secure.
As for medical and healthcare security, Gov Chime has instituted free maternal and child healthcare all over Enugu State. This means that Enugu State hospitals offer free medical services to children under the age of 5 years, and pregnant women. Governor Chime has been rehabilitating many district and cottage hospitals, and constructing new health centres. He is purchasing and distributing medical equipment and supplies to health facilities. He is constructing the first Diagnostic Centre in South East Nigeria. He is establishing HIV comprehensive care sites. He has introduced a medical emergency response scheme which is unique and the first of its kind in Nigeria. The Enugu State Medical Emergency Response Scheme is an articulated, coordinated and specialized health package to attend to the people, who may suddenly fall ill either at home, in vehicles or elsewhere within Enugu State. The scheme operates 24hrs daily. The Enugu State Ministry of Health in collaboration with several hospitals in the state are collaborating to ensure that rescued patients are promptly attended to. It is notable that this scheme is unique and first of its kind in Nigeria and that Governor Sullivan Chime set up this scheme without any precedent to copy from. All these measures have certainly provided physical and medical security to the residents of Enugu State and made Enugu State more safe and secure.
Furthermore Governor Sullivan Chime in his continued efforts to create jobs for unemployed youths in the state and thus combat crime and assure security in the state has purchased over 1000 taxi cab vehicles which are leased out to unemployed youths in the state so they can engage in transportation business. The cabs are supported by government backed irrevocable standing payment order. Government also bears the cost of the interest rate since the cabs are part of a poverty-reduction scheme.
As for labour relations and labour security, it should be noted that immediately upon assumption of office in 2007, Gov Chime reviewed and upwardly adjusted the minimum wage of Enugu State civil servants; he also recalled Enugu State civil servants who had been unjustly disengaged by the previous administration; he also re-absorbed indigenes of Enugu State whose employment were terminated by a neighbouring state; he has also continued to promptly and regularly pay Enugu State workers’ salaries without fail on the 25th of every month. Since May 2007, Gov Chime has paid salaries on time, every month, without fail. This even includes those months when the federal allocation for the month has not been disbursed to the states; Governor Chime has also cleared all the salary arrears and leave- allowance arrears it inherited from the previous administration; Gov Chime also monetized the official quarters of many Enugu State civil servants and many of them are home owners today, and Gov Chime is still continuing with the monetization of official quarters to Enugu State’s workers. Also under Gov Chime, Enugu State workers now duly earn their promotions as at when due in line with due process requirements; Gov Chime has also even created the new Enugu State Ministry of Labour which underscores how important Governor Chime considers the state’s relationship with organized labour. Governor Chime was also the first to pay the new National Minimum Wage in the South-east and was, perhaps, one of the first two or three in the whole country to first pay the National Minimum Wage. All these measures promote the economic security of the state and contributed to the reduction of crime in Enugu State.
All of these strides and more caused the United States of America to commend Governor Sullivan Chime for providing quality leadership that has led to the rapid infrastructural development in Enugu State and brought tremendous transformation in the socioeconomic life of its people. The commendation came through Consul General, of the US Consulate in Lagos, Mr. Joseph Stafford when he led some staff of the consulate on a courtesy visit to the Government House, Enugu to round off his tour of some states of the South-East zone. The US Consul General noted with delight the importance of Enugu and her role in the socioeconomic and political development of the country.
So based on all of the above (and more that I am unable to itemize for want of space), the truth is that Gov Chime has done so much and is continuing to do everything within his capacity as Governor to fight crime and provide security in Enugu State. In fact he has shown an uncommon and exceptional commitment to providing security for the people of Enugu State and all these efforts have ultimately made Enugu State and the Coal City, Enugu, very safe, despite the unfortunate and terrible killing of CP Chinwike Asadu in Amorji, Nike, Enugu.
By Ambrose Agu
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria