·        As youths campaign against drug abuse

By Martin Opara

“Umuoronjo autonomous community in Owerri Municipal Council under my watch as President General has put in place a robust, efficient and effective security network under the community’s Chief Security Officer CSO Henry Kamalu and his team that has rid the entire neighbourhood of criminals, deviants and delinquents who used to hide under the cover of darkness to unleash mayhem on innocent people and perpetrate all kinds of atrocities making the area unsafe.

The community’s security team comprising youths with verifiable track record who are thoroughly screened, patrol the vicinity day and night to ensure that peoples homes, shops and business outfits are not burgled or vandalized submit daily and weekly situation reports to my office to enable me keep track of events.”

The President General of Umuoronjo autonomous community, Amb Jude Agbugba stated this in an interview with Nigeria Watchdog reporter in his Owerri office on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

He said, “there was a time the axis between School road/ Tetlow road junction/ Ajoku Street and Stadium Lane was a safe haven for criminals, deviants and drug addicts who robbed, attacked and disposed passersby of their hand bags, phones, money and other valuables. Hence anybody passing through those areas after 6pm was taking a risk. The situation became so bad as shop owners around there and their customers became regular victims. But today it is no longer so as people now freely go about their legitimate businesses without fear of attack or molestation.”

Investigation by this reporter revealed that the vigilante operatives had on several occasions apprehended some bad boys who attempted to dispossess people of their belongings and handed them over to the police.

It was gathered that on one occasion, a man who was drugged by his friends was seen staggering and speaking incoherently at about 1: am. The operatives who thought he was insane kept him in protective custody till day break when he narrated his ordeal. To the astonishment of all, he was later released to his relatives with his phone, wrist watch and huge sum of money intact.

“There was also an incident when a young man who allegedly snatched a woman’s hand bag containing huge sum of money was being pursued by the police and ran into a room in one of the compounds nearby. The police, confused and unable to trace him had almost given up when the CSO and his team arrived the scene and quickly traced the absconding criminal and handed him to the police who commended their effort.”

Some shops owners along Tetlow Road, the Old Stadium Plaza, Wetheral Road and other places in Umuoronjo autonomous community who spoke to this reporter commended the leadership of the autonomous community for sanitizing the environment hence they have never had cause to regret the security fees they pay as their shops, offices and homes are well secured unlike what their friends and relatives in other places often experience.

This reporter was also informed that the CSO alongside the Leader of the task force and their men have not only sensitized the youths on the dangers of drug abuse but have also given an ultimatum that anybody caught selling or consuming illicit drugs would be arrested and handed over to relevant authorities. They have also reportedly set up a monitoring unit that will sniff out those involved.

Responding to a question, Amb Jude Agbugba a seasoned politician, business man, grassroots mobilizer and erstwhile Commissioner in the Imo State Judicial Service Commission said, as the administrative Head of the community, I am passionately concerned about the overall welfare of the indigenes, residents of the community including those doing legitimate businesses. I also believe that we have to work in synergy with government to ensure security of lives and property in the community, Owerri Municipal Council and the entire State because security is everybody’s business.”

He commended the youths for doing a good job and promised to support and encourage them.

He also lauded the traditional ruler of Umuoronjo autonomous community HRH, Eze Clinton Uboegbulam for ensuring peace, unity and mutual co-existence in the domain.