The Abia State Government, Tuesday, officially launched the first phase of its Security Initiative, codenamed “Operation Crush,” a strategic move designed to combat the surge in violent crimes and eliminate criminal activities within the state.
The Special Operation which demonstrates the state government’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and properties of its citizens and fostering a safe and secure environment for all residents and visitors in the state also featured the presentation of 20 branded Hilux Vans by the state government to multiple security agencies in the state such as the DSS, Police Force, Civil Defence, Navy, and the Nigerian Army.
Speaking while inaugurating the security Initiative at the Trademoore event Centre,Umuahia, Governor Alex Otti described the Operation Crush Security initiative as the state government’s “strong and coordinated response to the lingering challenge of insecurity in parts of the state which has made life nightmarish for many”.
The Governor recalled that on assumption of office, his administration made it clear that there would be zero tolerance for any form of criminality in any part of Abia adding that the launch of the security initiative offers a practical demonstration of government’s unflinching commitment to fulfilling that promise.
He highlighted specific areas such as Isuikwuato, Umunneochi, Umuahia ,Aba and other flash points across the state as places that would receive special attention and added that huge resources have been committed to the launch of the security operation.
Otti while noting that his government places premium on security as the foundation of enduring prosperity, regretted that kidnappers and armed robbers have turned the Lokpa-Leru-Lomara-Nneato-Isuochi- Uturu axis to a “war zone”, while several travellers including the immediate Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria Most Rev. Samuel Kanu Uche and his team of ministers in addition to students and staff of Abia State University Uturu have fallen victims of these mindless criminals with many lives lost and economic activities grounded.
The Governor who described the recent attack on the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce,Dr Chimezie Ukaegbu as well as the killing of two security personnel attached to the Commissioner as an affront to the state government, expressed determination to make every part of the state unsafe for criminals.
“Today we say never again. We shall no longer share one inch of our territory with criminals and their sponsors; from this day. I announce to those who delight in bringing pains to families and communities that no part of the state shall be safe for them again.
“They can only accept one of two options; to leave the state in a hurry or be crushed by the series of mechanisms we have put in place to track and decisively speak to them in the one language they can understand: the language of superior force.
“The security operatives driving this exercise have my strict instructions to be brave and ruthless to the criminals; we shall neither negotiate nor concede anything to anyone threatening the peace and security of innocent citizens”, Otti warned.
He urged security agents to be vigilant, relentless, and fair in their operations while discouraging harassment of innocent citizens and warned that security personnel found guilty would be dealt with.
Governor Otti called on community leaders and stakeholders to provide valuable insights on security matters and issued a warning that the full force of the law shall be applied in dealing with landlords, traditional rulers, leaders of the various markets and heads of different settler communities who harbour or provide any form of assistance to individuals who threaten the security of the state.
He stressed his administration’s commitment to creating legitimate opportunities for youth engagement as well collaborating with the Federal Government to ensure the welfare of security operatives.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, in his remarks on behalf of other service chiefs in the state commended Governor Alex Otti’s dedication to security and assured the public that the security agencies within Abia state were determined to achieve the Governor’s vision.
Earlier,the Secretary to the state government Professor Kenneth Kalu noted that the formal launch of the joint security initiative is a demonstration of the Governor Alex Otti’s commitment towards instituting a peaceful and secured environment to safeguard citizens and encourage investments.
Heads of various security agencies including the Nigerian Police force, the Department of State Security(DSS), Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Nigerian Army were present during the launch.
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