Stories by CHINEYE OZOR
Barely five days after the alleged gruesome murder of Nsukka-based human right crusader and politician, Christopher Ejike Onah at his Agbani Nguru Nsukka residence by unknown men in the university town of Nsukka, Enugu state, the chairman, Nsukka Local Government, Mr. Tony Okechi Ugwu bared his mind on the security situation in the town.
Porous Security network:
I would not say that the security network in Nsukka is porous. Porous might be an overstatement.
We are facing challenges in Nsukka just like any other country, the nation as a whole and the world generally. Nsukka is not really porous, you might want to recall that Nsukka being the largest local government that boarders other states and housing a premier University, UNN, there are bound to be developments and challenges.
The security agencies in Nsukka are doing their possible best, the local government also. With the help of the local government and in partnership with police, more police men were drafted to Nsukka, we have anti-police kidnap squad, anti terrorism, joint task force, the army, the civil defence and the regular police men and mobile police men, all stationed here in Nsukka.
Security is a thing of all, the agencies deal on information. Nsukka local government do have the regular security meetings with security agencies to make sure the security network in Nsukka is strengthened.
I would say that both the state and the Nsukka local government is working. Nsukka is not really porous but there are bound to be challenges here and there.
New police stations created in Nsukka.
You might want to know that the police at Eha-Alumona has taken off. There is a D.P.O and the men are already on ground. The issues of logistics are being worked out, they need vehicles, furniture among other issues.
We are working with them to see if we can provide them with what we can, considering a perspective of local government. I am pleading with the police authorities to make sure that they motivate them.
One thing is to establish a police station, another thing is to give them adequate motivation, the tools to work with. We are really working on that issue.
The other station at Okpuje is already there, we are working with the police to see if the Okpuje police post can be upgraded to another police division. So they have taken off.
Nsukka, the largest in Enugu, population figure.
Well, from the figures we have before the 2007 general election, the general census of 2009, we are having a local government that has above 300,000 registered voters. We are just talking about registered voters.
The unfortunate thing is that the statistics in the recent calculation count was not yet out from the office of statistics .The office of statistics are still working on it. The indices I gave out was for eligible voters.
We are not counting the children, old men and women who did not register. When we talk of population, we are looking at a cosmopolitan area where you have many people coming in. We are looking where we have federal institutions.
We are looking at a society which is growing, people are coming in, business moving, attracting many people as the case may be. When we talk of being the largest, we are not talking of largest in land mass. Even if you talk of land mass, Nsukka is big.
When we talk about these, we look at comparative indices because when you come to a place you look at the indices of public primary schools.
It might surprise you to know that Nsukka local government has total number of 134 public primary schools. We have many states that do not have up 100 public primary schools. Schools come with teachers, and pupils and activities; this is just the indices we are talking about.
So, when we talk about Nsukka being the largest, we look at land mass, people and institutions which are on ground.
Crime among youths, the LG approach.
It is very unfortunate and laughable that we read in the newspapers that an association calls itself kidnappers association of Nsukka. Those are metaphors, Just things to put people in good mood. We do no have such an association in Nsukka.
Like I said, Nsukka being a cosmopolitan town and a town that is growing and peaceful, I believe that where business thrives is where there is peace and for business to be thriving in Nsukka means that there is element of peace.
When we came in, the philosophy of this government is all about the youths. How to develop and empower and make them have future to effectively add value to the society.
That has been my cardinal point since I have been here for the two years trying to ginger for them to understand that they can add value.
It is very unfortunate vices are coming in, more people, civilization which also has negative vices which is a norm, but we are working very hard, praying and believing that people in Nsukka should be very vigilant because security is all encompassing.
It is about all of us. Let us be vigilant conscious and mindful of things around us and Nsukka would be a better place.