Governor Ugwuanyi Rising To the Occasion in Protecting Enugu State Residents as Yuletide Approaches

By AdvocateNews on 07/12/2021

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Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

By John Egbo, PhD, A Veteran law enforcement officer

The influx of people from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria and the Diaspora into the state has become a testimony to the government's commitment in keeping Enugu relatively safe as the yuletide is fast approaching and shopping for the celebrations is on the air. 

In a church service attended by the Governor, the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, in his sermon, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the sacrifices he makes to ensure that Enugu State remains peaceful and secure, describing the Governor as “a man of peace and a very nice man who feels the pulse of the people”.

Professor Adeniyi Olatunbosun (2019) noted that government should invest a lot to ensuring that security of lives and property are guaranteed. Because that is the essence we have government in place. The primary duty of government is to ensure that security of lives of the citizens are protected and guaranteed under the law. But the current wave of insecurity in many parts of Nigeria has gotten to an alarming level that kidnapping, banditry, terrorism are of daily occurrence. It is no surprise that many Southeasterners living in many parts of northern Nigeria have either relocated their families to Enugu State or have relocated entirely to the State. The same is applicable to many indigenes and residents of neighboring states like Anambra and Ebonyi, who have choosen to stay in Enugu and operated their business in these states. A clear case in point was during the just concluded Anambra Governorship election, Enugu was heavily choked with human and vehicular traffic that movement around Enugu metropolis was at a snail pace. It was a true test of what a peaceful environment can offer when the government in power makes protection of lives and property a priority.

The philosopher, Thomas Hobbes in his 1651 book titled, Leviathan espoused the famous social contract theory, the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society otherwise known as Government in today's understanding. The said government shall offer protection to all while the residents shall pay taxes to maintain the government. This theory justifies the power and authority that law enforcement can exert over the population as a whole (Evansand MacMillan, 2014). The coercive power to arrest and apprehend a perceived violator of the law is as a result of the contract. The government is responsible for ensuring that those entitled to maintain the law are well taken care of, for them to put their lives in danger on daily basis for the protection of all. The poor treatment of the Nigeria Police Force is very deplorable and in return they offer the worst security to the citizens, ever preferring to be an orderly or an attache to a well to do person's convoy where one can be assured of a three Square meal and get paid extra money to supplement poor salary.

Unfortunately, the Nigerian scenario has not lived up to the expectations of the citizenry.  In fact, the Nigerian government has failed the security architecture of the country and in so doing the security architecture has failed Nigerians. All kinds of vices, killings, crimes of strange magnitude have become the order of the day. My goodness, the citizenry should blame themselves for the type of human beings they  elect to govern them. Unfortunately, some of the country's leaders are unqualified in all ramifications to govern and of course can't give what they don't have or arbitrary have choosen to turn their backs on the citizenry. One can accurately assert that most Nigerian leaders are more interested in protecting themselves with convoy of police officers at the expense of the general public, no wonder, men of the underworld realized this weakness and choose to your wreck havoc on the innocent citizens, who are helpless and unprotected by the government of the day. Well, this should be a matter for another day. 

BThe Enugu scenario offers hope as residents and citizenry can attest to the fact, that the state is relatively safe when compared with the atrocities being committed in other states across Nigeria. Governor Ugwuanyi's tireless efforts to maintain security in the state should  be commended. The peace and security prevailing in the State can be attributed to his doggedness in maintaining peaceful relationships with the Hausa and Fulani communities, who are mostly in charge of cattle markets and herders in the State, ensuring that the federal law enforcement architures are given necessary equipment such as vehicle and other motivations to complement the resources coming from federal Government, establishment of neighborhood watch groups in every community and forest Guard groups in every ward. Funding and providing resources for these local quasi security groups is very instrumental to the security at the grassroots. 

As the Christmas celebration approaches, many more Diasporans will return back to Enugu and more often, they will be the target of bad relatives who plot robbery and other crimes against these innocent returnees. Therefore, there is a need to beef up security in all the nooks and crannies of the State. It can further be enhanced by organizing an in service training to educate these local vigilante groups on improved operations during the yuletide. Splitting the teams into 2 shifts of 12 hours coverage for both night and day times. Ensuring that they are provided with equipment to effectively and efficiently service their respective neighborhoods. Rejigging communication between the local vigilante groups and police divisions covering these respective neighborhoods.

Another critical aspect of free movement in December, the Ministry of Transport should be rewarded for holding forth despite not having enough MOT personnel to control and enforce traffic congestion at strategic locations in Enugu metropolis such as Ogui road (Artisan) by Tunnel, Otigba Roundabout, Zoo Roundabout Abakaliki road, Abakpa Junction,  Amurri road at Texaco, Abakpa market,  Nowas, Savage Crest,  Garden Ave by Tunnel,  works road by new market, kingsway road by club road (Secretariat), Prisons roundabout,  CPS by old UNTH road, Akwatta Roundabout,  Zik Avenue at Edozie st, CIC road by Mbanugo road, Agbani Road by Mbanugo (coal camp), Stretch of Neni street by Queens school to UNEC, Edozie by Robinson st, Nise at Agbani road, Obioma by Agbani road, mayor market at Agbani Road,  Amechi road by Agbani road, Osumenyi / Kenneth road at Amechi road, Amechi road  at Ebony paint Road,One ay Rd by Agbani rd, Meniru at Agbani rd,  Gariki market,  Abakpa market, Emene rd by Carritas Rd. Savage crescent at Abakaliki rd (ESCET), Chris chemist Roundabout,  Egbuna Roundabout (P&T) through Holy Ghost, and 9th mile corner, etc. Residents of the metropolis are close to suffering Road rage and it will get worse before it gets better because of the influx of vehicles in the peaceful city. Thanks to Gburugburu for making Enugu a peaceful destination of choice for those coming home for the Christmas celebration.

The keke operators and mini bus drivers are out of control and causes fender bender accidents on daily basis without any retribution. In fact, driving in Enugu metropolis during rush hours of 7 am to 10am, 3pm to 9pm is becoming a nightmare. A friend of mine, who returned from lagos a few weeks ago narrated his experience on traffic holdups in Enugu by saying that Enugu is worse than lagos because drivers in Enugu form many lines in a single lane road grounding flow of vehicles to a standstill. But in lagos, fear of LASTMA is the beginning of wisdom. This really makes it very important that additional MOT personnel are recruited and trained to alleviate potential Road rage and accidents in addition to facilitating free movement of road users and earn revenue for the government through legitimate enforcement of traffic regulations. 

Finally, the Governor has also done marvelously well in equipping the Enugu State fire service, another critical sector in protection of lives and properties. The State fire service is more than ever ready to counter the regular fire outbreaks during hamatttan season. The Chief fire officer of the State, Engr. Ohaa has been touring every local government of the state conducting in service training on fire prevention and clearing of bush around buildings as incessant bush fire is always rampant during the dry season. Teaching local vigilante groups how to use fire extinguishers and other methods of preventing and stopping fire outbreaks. David Harper, former Supreme Court Judge in Australia once wrote that a government’s first duty is to protect its citizens against imminent danger; and protection at times of present and future peril necessitates policybased upon facts and logic. He made the statement while identifying the principal cause, and severity, of the fires burning since spring in parts of Australia. Many citizens do not know the investment the Governor has made in upgrading the capacity of Enugu State Fire Service to serve the State. The fire service is probably the best in east of he Niger. The state fire service is ever ready to respond to fire incidents on a timely manner. The fire service can be further beefed up by having two police patrol units dedicated to them on a 24 hour basis because the police in developed countries are the first responders and often clears the way for fire engines to enter and do their work. The Police also serves to cordon off the crime scene for proper investigation that takes place after fire has been controlled.  bb

In conclusion, one can comfortably say that the Governor of Enugu State, H.E. Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has truly kept fate with his oath of office in carrying out the most important function of government, security of lives and property as embedded in the famous social contract theory between the people and government. To that effect, Enugu State remains the coal city, home for all, and a peaceful environment, where one can comfortably stay and enjoy the Christmas season.

Posted 07/12/2021 10:08:05 AM


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