By Anthony Ezeibe :
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 crises are always accompanied by security challenges, Nigeria is no exception.
In Anambra State, there has been an increase in the crime rate, especially in Onitsha, the state’s commercial nerve centre. Still, it has been noted that the crime situation is exaggerated.
For instance, someone claimed on social media recently that he witnessed seven armed robberies in Onitsha within nine minutes!
The State Government has always pressurised security agencies to combat these crimes with potent results. And the Anambra State Police Command continues to record a series of achievements on a daily basis, arresting one chance robbery syndicates, handbags/telephone snatching syndicates, Tricycle/Car Snatching syndicates as well as illegal revenue collectors.
Available statistics at the disposal of the command revealed that from January 2021 to date, it has fatally injured five armed robbery suspects at Fegge and the DMGS axis of Onitsha, following gun duel and recovered three locally made firearms.
The command also arrested no fewer than 10 armed robbery/one chance syndicates at Upper Iweka, Bridgehead, Nkpor junction, Nkpor Roundabout, Awada, Owerri Road, Aba Park and Inland Town, all within Onitsha and environs with more than five guns recovered in their possessions as well as three tricycles that they used to perpetrate the crime.
The command also apprehended 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 on the same axis. These are in addition to no fewer than 65 illegal revenue collectors arrested for tormenting innocent citizens and extorting them.
All the suspects and exhibits were paraded with and subsequently charged to court. Just on Feb. 19, police operatives at the Onitsha Main Market arrested two, one-chance robbery syndicates, who reportedly hypnotised and robbed a lady of about N200 million that was eventually recovered.
All the achievements are in the public space and specifically circulated as news items by the command to journalists via different platforms to which this author belongs.
In view of the foregoing, it is a disservice to the command and Anambra State in general for a local reporter based in Awka, writing under a pseudonym and aware of these results, to make false claims about the performance of the Police with regards to 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 write ups like this are mostly with political undertones, should be discountenanced. (MOI)
Ezeibe, a retired police officer and sociologist, lives in Onitsha, Anambra State