The Onitsha Security Situation – By Anthony Ezeibe

February 20, 2021
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The global economy has been in a tailspin, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. The United Kingdom, for instance, is experiencing its worst recession in 300 years. Economic crisis is always accompanied by security challenges. Nigeria is no exception.

In Anambra State, there has been an increase in the crime rate in especially Onitsha, the state’s commercial headquarters. Still, it has been noted that the crime situation is exaggerated. For instance, someone claimed on the social media recently that he witnessed seven armed robberies in Onitsha within nine minutes!

The State Govt has always driven security agencies to combat these crimes with potent results. And the Anambra State Police Command continues to record series of achievements on a daily basis by arresting one chance robbery syndicates,handbags/phone snatching syndicates,Tricycle/Car Snatching syndicates as well as illegal revenue collectors.

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Available statistics at the disposal of the Police command revealed that between January 2021 to date,the Command has fatally injured 5 Armed robbery suspects at fegge and DMGS areas of Onitsha following a gun duel and recovered three locally made guns.The Command also arrested over 10 armed robbery/One chance syndicates at Upper Iweka, Headbridge, Nkpor junction,Nkpor Roundabout, Awada,Owerri Road, Aba Park and Inland Town, all in Onitsha and environs with more than five guns recovered in their possessions as well as three tricycles which they used to perpetrate the crime.

The Command also arrested three members of a tricycle snatching syndicate and recovered  two tricycles, two guns, one of which is English made. All arrests were within two months in the same axis.These are in addition to over 65 illegal revenue collectors arrested for tormenting innocent citizens and extorting money from them.

 All the above suspects and exhibits were paraded with exhibits and subsequently charged to court for prosecution. Just yesterday 19/2/2021,  police operatives at the Onitsha Main Market arrested two one-chance robbery syndicates who reportedly hypnotized and robbed a lady of a huge sum of money, but the mone, about  N200,000,000  was recovered.

All above achievements are in the public space and specifically circulated as news items by the police command to journalists via different platforms to which this author belongs.

In view of the foregoing, it is a great disservice to the police command and Anambra State in general for a local reporter in Awka, writing under a pseudonym who is aware of these results, to make a patently false claim about the performance of the Anambra State Police Command as regards the security situation in Onitsha in the last 50 days.

The reporter,  obviously a hired gun, has been rebroadcasting his mendacious report. The effort to demarket the State security profile is mischievous.

While genuine concerns are always welcome, sensational writeups as this which are mostly with political undertones, should be discountenanced please.

Ezeibe, a retired police officer and sociologist, lives in Onitsha, Anambra State.

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