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Date Published: 05/07/10

KIDNAPPING: South East Governors should invest in security! By Joe Igbokwe

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It is no longer news that criminals in the name of kidnappers have turned South East into Thomas Hobbes State of Nature where life is nasty, brutish and short. It is no longer news that kidnapping for money is now a big business in the South East for those who think money is the ultimate thing in the world today and that one is dead without money. It is no longer news also that our brightest and bests now fear to go home during festive periods which has been the culture of our people for fear of being kidnapped or killed. What we thought was a little problem that will fizzle out with time has become a huge problem that is threatening to destroy the economy of the South East. It is now clear to us that this is a criminal activity that will require creative thinking, constructive engagement and affirmative actions to nip it in the bud.

The South East Governors must now know that this is a serious problem that must be tackled head on. We can build all the bridges, all the roads, all the beautiful houses and homes, all the industries, all the schools, all the banks, Universities etc but all these will become useless if the security of lives and property cannot be guaranteed. One prominent person kidnapped or killed by the kidnappers in the South East will render all the beautiful jobs being done by the governors nugatory. It is the duty of the governors of their respective states to protect their citizens. This is the reason why they were elected and I consider it necessary that they know this and have it at the back of their minds always.

To have the wife of a former governor, Mrs Ezeife and former Nnewi North LGA Chairman Hon Ernest Obiora kidnapped is an affront on the Government of Anambra State, and an assault on our collective consciousness. The same story is being heard in the whole of South East. We cannot wait until the hoodlums kidnap a sitting governor before we do something.

What we need now is to deploy technology, ideas, intelligence, common sense and tact. We need to device new approach, new ways and methods of dealing with this challenge. The criminals must not have an upper hand and if they do it means that there is no government in place. We need to invest in security now. I suggest that the five Governors in the South should purchase 3 helicopters each and that will give us 15 helicopters. They also need to work with the GSM companies in order to track these criminals wherever they are in the former Eastern region. We can also seek the advice of top Security Operatives even outside Nigeria to deal with the problem. Anambra is a cash-driven State and the bedrock of the economy of the South East and even Nigeria after Lagos, Onitsha – Nnewi axis is the economic hub. We need to secure it for the good of the commonwealth.

Joe Igbokwe

Lagos

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