Governor of Abia state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has said that the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS), popularly known as Bakassi, are to commence, with immediate effect, a two week intensive training, for onward deployment to communities in the state, to assist in community policing.
This development is part of the immediate reactions of the Governor to the disturbances in Aba following the killing of a meat seller by a soldier at the popular abbatoir located at the Ogbohill area of the commercial city.
The Governor, who condemned the killing, in a statement that he personally signed, said disclosed that the soldier that perpetrated the act has been arrested and taken into custody.
While calling for calm and reassuring all citizens of the state of the safety of their lives and property, Dr. Ikpeazu said that Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict Resolution Committees at the state and local government levels had been constituted, made up of critical stakeholders.
Below is the statement in full:
On today’s incident in Aba
1. My dear brothers and sisters, I have been informed of the very unfortunate incident that happened in Aba, the commercial town of our dear state today, where a soldier killed a meat-seller at the popular abattoir located at the Ogbohill area of Aba. I condemn the act that led to the untimely death of this brother. I associate myself with his family in this moment of pains and loss, even as I commiserate with traders in the market. The soldier who perpetrated this act has been arrested and taken into custody.
2. I call on the people of Abia, especially those of us in Aba, to remain calm. I reassure all citizens of the state that the government is doing everything to protect lives and property of citizens from any attack.
3. I have instructed and equipped security agencies in the state to ensure watertight security around our boarders and towns against any form of attack.
4. I have directed that the men of the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS), popularly known as Bakassi, to commence, with immediate effect, a two week intensive training, for onward deployment to our communities to assist in community policing under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police.
5. All Traditional Rulers in the state are required to submit names of 10 youths from their community to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th May 2016. These youths will be enlisted into the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS).
6. I have mandated the law enforcement agencies to search and screen all trucks and vehicles conveying livestocks, food items and persons into the state from any part of the country. The law enforcement agencies will also search and screen markets and settlements where livestocks and dealers are, to ensure security.
7. The Government of Abia State has constituted a Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict Resolution Committee. The Commissioner of Police will head the committee. Other members of the committee are: The Brigade Commander, State Director of DSS, State Commandant of the NSCDC, the Naval Commander, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Myati Allah and Saraki Hausa.
8. The State Government has also constituted Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict Resolution Committee in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state. The Local Government chairmen will head the committees in their LGAs. Other members of the committees include; Divisional Police Officers in the LGAs, Local Government NSCDC heads, the DSS Local Government Chiefs, LGA Chairmen of Traditional Rulers Council and LGA Heads of Hausa communities.
9. I want to encourage our people to report any suspicious movement of strange persons within our communities to the Traditional Rulers or call any of the following Police Emergency Control phone numbers: 08079210003, 08079210004, 08079210005, 08035425405 for prompt deployment of a Rapid Response Unit formed for the purpose of security alert.
Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D
Governor, Abia State