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Date Published: 09/30/10

State of Lawlessness in Abia State: NOPRIN calls on the Federal Government to take over Governance in the State


NOPRIN is alarmed at the dimension that kidnapping and other violent crimes have taken in Abia State. Clearly, the police and other security forces have, not just lost control, but have themselves become targets of unrelenting attacks by the hoodlums they are expected to checkmate. This is illustrated by daily reports about police officers being gunned down by hoodlums in Aba. For example, on or about September 18, 2010 two policemen were reported to have been shot dead by unknown gunmen at Umuafor Ukwu in Obingwa local government Area, the same area where four journalists and their driver were kidnapped on July 11, 2010.

But the shocking news that gunmen on Monday, September 27 th, 2010 hijacked a school bus conveying 15 pupils of Abayi International School, Osisioma, in Aba, Abia State and took them to an unknown destination and demanding twenty million naira ransom for the release of the kids is the height of this madness.

This cannot happen in a country where there is a responsible and legitimate government.

Recently, unknown gunmen were also reported to have besieged a family in Aba, and ordered two little boys under gun point to have sex with their mother. The first boy, for refusing to comply, was shot dead in the presence of his mother. The poor woman had to prevail on her second son to do the bidding of the hoodlums to save his son’s and her own life. This is sacrilege!

What is happening in the Abia State and in some other states in the Southeast is a reflection of the quality of leadership in that region. No doubt, criminals have taken over the political space in the Southeast. Some State governors in the Southeast who came to power through a fraudulent electoral process have also hijacked the traditional institution by installing their fellow criminals as traditional rulers. These are the so-called traditional rulers who sponsor kidnapping and shielding kidnappers in their communities. There is no political legitimacy. There is no governance. There is no morality. This explains why any human could kidnap innocent minors for money making. This is unconscionable!

NOPRIN believes that the Abia State government has completely lost control, either because he is complicit or he incompetent. The purpose of every legitimate government is the welfare and security of the people. Any government that cannot protect lives and property s not worth the name. What is happening in Abia also portends a serious threat to the forthcoming 2011 general elections. This calls for the immediate and decisive intervention of the federal Government. NOPRIN hereby calls on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in Abia State. A Special security force must be deployed without further delay to smoke out these criminals and their sponsors, and restore public order and safety in Abia State.

Okechukwu Nwanguma

Program Coordinator


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