… as Police DPO fetes Neighborhood Watch Member
By Saviour Ekpe
Insecurity, violence and all forms of criminalities are have been nipped on the board as the people of Abak local government have arisen with a renewed commitment and zeal to ensure that such vices are rid from the area.
Addressing a mammoth crowd who gathered at the Nigerian Police, Abak Division in Abak local government area, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Abak, Superintendent of Police (SP) Celestine Umeh expressed delight over the turn out of the invitees and noted that their coming out in a great number is a clear testimony that they are ready for the real deal. He noted that the Nigerian Police is ready and willing to partner with the group for effective security operation and that the Police back them in all they do to promote security in the area.
The DPO explained that the current Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu has zero tolerance on crimes and insecurity, charged the people to always conduct themselves in the best possible manners as the police will not condone any form of criminality among members of the group irrespective of social standing. He called on members of the goup to call on Police whenever they need assistance and gve the Police quick response number for Abak, “the police is ready to partner and encourage you to record successes in your activities but you must be sure of the caliber of people you recruit to carry out this great task because we will not hesitate in arresting and prosecuting any law breaker among you. The Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, CP Zubairu Muazu is aware of this body and in line with his zero tolerance to crime and criminality, he want you to help the police rid out hoodlums in your communities afterall, police cannot be everywhere, but you leave among your people and so, you be the right people to give the right coverage to your communities”.
The DPO further sound a strong note of warning to the operators of ‘ekpo’ masquerade in the area to play it with caution, avoid violence and the use of dangerous weapon, “now that the season of ‘ekpo’ masquerade will soon come, I want to warn especially, the people of Afaha Obong, Ediene and Abak clans to be careful the way they operate the ‘ekpo’ masquerade. Let they eschew all forms of violence. ‘Ekpo’ is part of culture and culture has nothing to do with violence, any form of violence would be treated as such. You cannot in the process of carrying out your cultural activities inflict pains on unsuspected members of the public”. He threatened that any violation would attract arrest and prosecution. He announced to participants of the division’s intension to organize football competition between with youths of the area as ways of redirecting the minds of the young ones from criminality and criminal tendencies.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Neighborhood Watch Abak local government area, Pastor Friday Bill commended members of the group for being on the vanguard of ensuring adequate security of lives and property of the people of Abak irrespective of where they come from. He also applauded the dexterity of the DPO, SP Celestine Umeh for supporting them to achieve the feat so far. The Chairman of Neighborhood Watch charged members not to relent dispite some setbacks whom he described as teething problems, which according to him, would be surmounted in due time.
Speaking to Journalists soon after the event, the Chairman of Neighborhood Watch, Pastor Bill explained that the group started about four years ago and has outlived successive DPOs in the local government area. He added that the group has membership strength of over one hundred able bodied men, which cut across all the wards and villages in Abak local government area. He decried lack of tools for effective operation such as touch lights, uniform, rain boots/coats etc. the Chairman expressed the hope that the team is ready to work to assist the police to enable citizens of Abak to sleep with their two eyes closed devoid of fear of the unknown, called on wealthy citizens of the area, public spirited individual, corporate organizations and governments to assist the body acquire some of those tolls for effective operation.
The event was attended by leaders of the group including Dede Nsima Udom, Secretary; Prince Nsikak Ibanga, Treasurer; Elder (Comrade) Uduak Udoekpo, PRO; Okuku (Prince) Francis Umoh, a retired Superintendent of Police, the immediate past chairman of the group and Adviser; senior police officer among others. The programme featured question and answer session and heavy refreshment provided by the DPO.