Psa 121:7: “The Lord shall preserve us from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul”.
By Preiz Imoh Orji
The sound of gun-shot and pandemonium was a constant occurrences in our city (Aba).
People would throw the doors of their cars open, without shutting down the engine, take off to any seeming safe direction just to escape the threat and destruction of daredevil armed-robbers and kidnappers.
We were living in fears. We wake up every day wondering who’s the next to be kidnapped, which bank will they attack next and who will be the next victim of stray bullets.
Most days we would literally watch armrobbers in Rambo style whisked men into an SUV, shot down a major street with their perverse benevolence, throwing large sum of money into the atmosphere for the people to scramble for before they escape.
But the narratives have changed, all thanks to the Okezie Victor Ikpeazu administration. Aba the Enyimba city can now move around in the noon with zest, people are peacefully going after their personal businesses, banks are operating without been scared of any form of attack.
Literally, we are seeing investment and prosperity return to the city. Yes!, men who left the city for fear of been kidnapped have returned to town.
But the latest reversal of the operations of tricycle (keke) operators to 7pm by government of the day, have given the city an impression of a city under siege.
The policy seems like throwing the bathing water away with the baby. No one stops boarding aircraft because of plane crash, do we stop driving because of accidents or bad roads? Neither do we abolish the use SUVs’ or other vehicles from plying our roads because kidnappers used it to operate. No we don’t!
This kind of decision by the government gives an impression of an administration playing according to the dictates of the criminals. This, makes our present day government look reactive instead of proactive. And this doesn’t define the highly meticulous, proactive and intelligent administration of OVI.
The city seems absolutely deserted and dreadful after 7pm. Businesses that operates in the night which relatively aren’t a few had automatically shut down. Life and activities in the city ends by 5pm. After 5pm, people are forced to automatically begin to scramble for their way home. Because of this policy.
Individuals who operates, bars, clubs, lounges, in fact, the hospitality industry have been grossly affected.
No city or state prospers and reaches her true economic potential if all its businesses operates in the day. The truth, is that it’s impossible for a city to be considered a major economic force if all that happens in the city commercial wise happens between 5am-7pm.
The Okezie Ikpeazu administration is focused on making Aba, Abia state a major global economic or commercial force, so we must consider the importance of movement and transport especially in the night for businessmen and tourists who want to feel what our Enyimba city is like in the night.
The policy is hinged on the fact that the criminals disguises themselves as tricycle (keke) operators to rob innocent citizens of their hard earned money. Sometimes, this criminals has inflicted untold affliction, hardship and loss of precious lives.
But the truth, is that most of the robbery or criminal activities happens in the noon, not in the night. And sometimes, with security checkpoints close to the point of the robbery or kidnapping incidents.
This is not an indictment on our security apparatchik. They have had a fair share of their own losses. The police, the army and other security apparatchik have also lost some of their finest officers to these daredevil criminals.
This is my observations and suggestions. The city is relatively peaceful, prosperous and happy when life exceeds 7pm. People in the land are more confident to move around and fulfill their dream when they’re sure that they will find their way comfortably after the day activities.
Besides this, it’s difficult for the robbers to operate when the city is alive and bustling with activities.
The government should instruct the leaders of the keke operators and the government to fish out anyone among them with criminal intentions or inclination. The age brackets of the individuals in the industry should be increased to 35 years old and above.
The government should create a policy where any young man below 35 years who’s driving a keke should be given an opportunity to be empowered with train in other skills or other areas of businesses.
The security apparatchik should dismantle all existing checkpoints, yes! I think the criminals think ahead of our security men. They simply know where the checkpoints are and intelligently avoid those areas.
I suggests that our police, army and naval commands should take time and find out the entry and exit routes this criminals operates from and block them henceforth.
If possible, (it is very possible because the Ikeazu administration is a wonder working government), the street lights on our major roads such as Faulks, Okigwe, Aba-Owerri, Ngwa, Ikot Ekpene, New Umuahia, Okpulumobo, World Bank, MCC should be made functional.
This is simple, light dispels darkness and chases it away forever. If we must have peace, prosperity and security we must have light or power in our city.
The Aba landlords association should submit a bill to the Abia state House of Assembly mandating every landlord to mount a security light in front of their houses, organize and empower neighborhood security watch that will work with the arm forces to rid our cities of criminals.
We also implore our religious leaders to keep praying for our leaders and the security of the land till peace and prosperity is absolutely returned to our dear Enyimba city.
Finally, I suggests that the government should look at these suggestions improve on it and restore the tricycle (keke) back to 9pm.
God bless governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu
God bless Abia State!
God bless Nigeria!
Preiz Imoh Orji