Imo: Community Policing, Delay No More – By Kenneth Uwadi


Former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha has vowed he was sure of returning as governor of Imo state in 2023.Ihedioha made this known at the 4th Anniversary of Egbu declaration which took place at All Saints Anglican Cathedral Egbu in Owerri, organized by Owerri Reawakening groups. There is nothing wrong in Ihedioha doing legitimate politicking to buy relevance in the politics of the state but there is everything wrong in not only being childish about it but displaying wanton recklessness in his pronouncements .He should be able to draw a clear line between jesting and genuine ambition because almost everything he has done so far as campaign for his 2023 governorship ambition falls well within the sphere of pure jest, the kind you get around Ariaria and Ochanja markets in Aba and Onitsha. The curious question is what is Ihedioha actually campaigning for? He wants to be the Governor of Imo come 2023 or what? It is a measure of how low this country has descended that a man who shamelessly rigged himself to become governor in 2019 and performed very poorly in the 7 months that he was governor should be going around with a swagger and maligning others in order to earn some political points. He chose to insult everybody he perceives as impediment to his governorship ambition. His deputy governor once boasted that they will make the state ungovernable.

Ihedioha in 7 months left Imo state in a terrible state of disrepair. He looted funds to high heavens. He reduced the State to one big sycophantic industry where singing his praises became one rewarding venture. Loyalty and allegiance is determined by how well you chorus his sing-song, which thrills him and his vanity to no ends. He, still overwhelmed by the wuruwuru that brought him to the Owerri Government house for 7 months is going around today shouting Mmegbu Adighi mma and calling for zonal shift of the governorship position. He is so obsessed with vanity and pettiness that he spends most of his time, quarreling with those that criticize his many wrong ways. None of his public speeches is complete unless he has thrown one jibe or the other at his envisaged opponents. He spends the rest in self-praise to the hand-clapping and hooting of his praise singers, saying how he made Imo State a wonderland of the century and how he delivered unknown democracy dividends to the State. His quest to become governor of Imo in 2023 for me is dead on arrival.

When Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State started this year with commissioning of projects, it took very many people by surprise. Management experts have argued that with careful planning, the sublime is achievable within the shortest possible time. It is also said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Therefore, following Uzodinma’s plans, policies and projects, it may not be difficult to understand how he could achieve the feat. The governor is a listening governor. Wherever he is going wrong and it is pointed out, he quickly corrects himself. The governor is doing a good job under the circumstances. These are difficult times in the last two years and he’s come out well. I commend him for the ongoing renovation of over 305 Health Centers across the INEC Wards of the twenty-seven Local Government Areas of the State. He never allowed himself to be distracted by the previous occurrences that triggered the state of unrest in Imo. The renovation of the health centres would open fresh window for employment opportunities for Imo indigenes. No matter the falsehood dished out by few persons on social media under the sponsorship of desperate oppositions who are not sure of their own destination, the good news remains that Uzodinma is doing well.

Politics, as we know, is generally assumed to be a dirty game. Indeed, it is dirty in so many ways and senses to the extent that most politicians and their gullible followers often pretend against positive steps and distinguished achievements so as to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. In spite of this unfortunate political trait of some people, truth is always clear, constant and unblemished. No amount of gossips can erase the solid facts that Uzodinma is working hard. He should intensify the efforts on security through a joint police and vigilante group patrol of our roads and streets. The issue of Unknown Gun men and Kidnapping should be put to an end. Community policing is very important. Community Policing remains the best security tool to stamp out all shades of criminal practices. There should be no further delay. Vigilantee groups should be formed and equipped.

The governor has promised to do this. I heard him say ‘we shall create a Neighbourhood Security Watch code named ‘North East West’ (NEW) involving a coordinated network of Community Intelligence Gathering Programme in liaison with the NPF, DSS, NSCDC, NSO and some Private Security Companies. In tandem, we shall launch Operation “FOC,” (Flush Out Criminals) – a combined Security Operations targeted at Flashpoints and Centres of high criminal activities, including hide outs, jungles, uncompleted buildings, forest, shrines, lakes and creeks, etc. Whether in Ohaji Egbema, or Nwaorieubi Shrine at Ifakala, or in the thick jungle at Akokwa, or Njaba or Urashi, We shall rout them and free our society of the menace of banditry, kidnappings, and ritual killings including Yahoo-Plus, and Alibaba Gangstars. It shall be a “SAD” season for criminals in Imo State’

Government should intensify manhunt operations against identified target groups and criminal syndicates .People from the communities know these criminals and kidnappers and they can help government smoke them out from their holes. Government must go after them. Government must not wait for them to strike again before they pursue them. Whether they are using Operation Rescue or Operation Sweep, Operation Wipe, Anti-Kidnapping Squad or Joint Military Task Force , vigilantee should come up too and all Squad must take the battle to whatever hide outs of these gunmen and crush them. Government should also use the media too for sensitization of the populace on the need to assist the police on security. Ka Chineke mezie okwu.

-Kenneth Uwadi lives in Mmahu-Egbema, Ohaji/Egbema, Imo state


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