In the wake of the new rising crime waves emanating from the sit at home order, closure of markets, schools, churches, business centres and total lock down in the state focused at curbing and containing the ravaging “Coronavirus pandemic” and following the absence of local security outfits to assist the traditional security agencies in the state, some experts have advocated that Governor Hope Uzodinma makes haste to establish local vigilante groups to be supervised by the local government transitional chairmen.

The upsurge and myriads of crimes and criminal acts reported in parts of the state including new wave kidnapping, arsons, murder and armed robbery have been attributed to the absence of any form of security operatives officially assigned to protect the citizenry and the fact that those formerly engaged but not working presently have not been disarmed and are still roaming the towns and villages wrecking havoc on innocent people with their arms and ammunition.

In the last edition of the Community Watchdog, we highlighted that experts are now calling for the establishment and maintenance of a recognized security outfit like the suspended community or local government vigilante groups.

A United States of America (USA) trained expert who hails from Imo State reported how his parents were abducted and upon investigation it was discovered that the kidnappers were made up of former vigilante security personnel or other security units disbanded but who are still in possession of allotted arms and ammunitions.

He disclosed that those who perpetuated crimes and wreack havoc in our towns and villages come from the various communities and their neighbours know and can identify them. He contended that as long as the Governor does not constitute a local vigilante group identified by the village heads and traditional rulers and at the same time disarm all the former armed personnel or disengaged operatives, crimes will continue to rise and terror reign in the state. 

According to him,the Governor has invested so much in the security of the state but should not fail to raid these criminals who come from the villages with local operatives they can be easily identified.

This call is coming on the heels of kidnapping arsons and armed robbery cases within the state with the latest being the abduction of the timber merchant Akunna Agwuoju from Anara in Isiala Mbano and earlier in January 2020, Ugochukwu Oguine also from Isiala Mbano who was murdered in cold blood.

It has been observed that most of these local crimes have been under reported in the media because the victims are usually threatened against reporting their ordeals to the law enforcement agents.

In Ideato North precisely in Ogboko and its suburbs, we have reported a number of criminal activities going on there for instance, there was the incident of an 80 year old retired army officer who came home to erect a building for his son abroad but was murdered and his house set ablaze as well as other heinous crimes within the zone.

There are other criminal cases within and around the state capital following the closure of Bet Naija games and sporting events that keep the urchins busy. Most students now on Covid-19 holidays and their yahoo comrades are known to have resorted to all forms of crimes including illegal road-blocks and way-laying of commercial drivers and food traders.

Meanwhile a former senior officer of the Imo Security Network from Okigwe zone who doesn’t want his name in prints has suggested that the best option for His Excellency, the Governor, Hope Uzodinma is to work with select former operatives of ISN and Community Watch who operated under the Rescue Mission government,saying that they will help to fish out the bad boys. He said that it is by recalling these security personnel that the dangerous arms will be retrieved and noted that anything short of this step will mean disaster for the citizens.

It is feared that if the current sit at home order continues without adequate supervised palliative steps or measures being taken to provide and protect the people, there will be danger.