From PETER OKORE, Umuahia
Worried by the varying degrees and complexity of crimes in Abia state, the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has vowed that he would make Abia the safest State in Nigeria. Not only that, he would create an ambiance that will encourage free enterprise as well as sustain the pillars of development of his government.
To realize this desire, he has introduced an entirely new security network in the state. Known as Abia State Crime Prevention and Management System (CPAMS), the new system will, among other functions, be capable of providing solutions to community and border policing, not only in Abia State, but Nigeria as a whole.
The system is built on the premise that those who commit these dreaded heinous crimes live with the people in their various villages, streets and worship in same churches and drink in same restaurants.
This new creation is coming behind the set up of State Homeland Security outfit fashioned out on the heel of the nationwide lockdown, closure of all borders and the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities of this formation, which took-off with an initial in-take of about 500 able-bodied youths, played-out well.
As could be said, the boys acted and penetrated where the armed and uniformed security agencies could not. This was how they were able to discover able-bodied men from the North, hidden and covered in long Dangote trailers and trucks, migrating to Southern parts of Nigeria, passing through Abia state borders in search of what is not known yet.
However, according to inner sources, with the new device, community participation with the police will become easier while reward system for diligent officers will also be done with ease.
Moreover, impressed by the green light shown by the organizers of this new security device, Governor Ikpeazu has put together a 9-man committee to plan the visit of the Inspector-general of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu to the state soon to formally launch this new security formation.
Speaking at the initial public demonstration on the workings of the new security out-fit held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium Umuahia, recently, Ikpeazu expressed joy that the CPAMS conceptualized by his administration has become a reality. He said with diligent implementation of CPAMS in Abia State, it will be difficult for a criminal to be a first offender whereas he has criminal records.
According to the Governor, proactive policing requires that a crime officer must be ahead of criminals, adding that except through digitalisation, time will come when police officers will find it difficult to cope with new waves of criminal activities.
He announced that through the state Ministry of Homeland Security Organization his government will provide solar powered systems in all Police Stations in the State as well as provide computers to all Police Divisions, including the offices of the Inspector-General of police, Deputy Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in the state for easy coordination of the activities and workings of the new scheme.
He commended the CPAMS-team, led by the Coordinator, Endi Ezengwa, for their hard work as well as the Homeland Security officers who have been trained on the operations of the security system. He urged them to collaborate with the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in the State to make Abia crime- free.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Homeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli thanked the Governor for his desire to make Abia the most peaceful and secure- state in Nigeria and assured that his Ministry would co -operate with him to realize the dream of making Abia a crime-free State.
In a goodwill message at the occasion, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Mrs. Janet Agbede observed that the modus operandi in crime prevention is not static but dynamic. She opined that it must have been in view of this that Governor Ikpeazu, after consultations with stakeholders in security matters, rolled- out the new security programme in the state.
She was optimistic that proper implementation of guidelines of the concept, would lead to a more pragmatic security network involving all stakeholders as well as ensure effective community and border policing in the State and beyond. She, however, advised Abians to stay away from crimes, noting that Abia state remains one of the most security conscious states in Nigeria
In his own remarks, the Coordinator of the Abia CPAMS, Endi Ezengwa disclosed that the newly introduced Crime Prevention and Management System is the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capacity to deter criminal activities . It will also improve community access to the police and instill confidence and engender good relationship among the people. He, therefore, appealed to Abians to support the new security programme.
The event which featured demonstration of the operations of CPAMS by the Police trainees and officers of the Abia Homeland Security Watch as well as presentation of certificates of Merit to CPAMS trainees, was watched by a cross-section of Abians, who stormed the venue to anxiety to observe the workings of the outfit. They prayed that the system will go into operation soon..
One of those who witnessed the demonstrations and displays, but pleaded for anonymity, expressed delight at the innovation and suggested that the operations of the Security-watch in the state should be extended to the various offices and Departments, where, according to him, people rob and defraud government using a number of fictitious means and devices with their pens, including padding of salaries in various establishments.
He hinted the numerous leaking Revenue windows exist in the state and are calling for attention. He disclosed that if there were the political-will to act, those leaking revenue windows would be closed, permanently. He said if that was done, Abia state government would have enough funds to cater for her needs and welfare of her citizens.