Some members of Anambra public have called on the state Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, to use his security votes to prevent insecurity in the state than to quell it.
They made the call at the Anambra Peace-Building and Security Summit held in Awka on Saturday.
Mrs Amaka Uzodinma of Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolutions (IPCR) said the fastest way to achieve resounding success in security and peace-building in the state was for the government to extend its security votes to other bodies saddled with the responsibility of peace and conflict resolutions.
Uzodinma said that governors should use their security votes to quell security challenges instead of preventing conflicts, peace-building and tackling insecurity challenges in the country.
She said that governors spent so much on security outfits only through buying bulletproof vehicles for the security officers to combat insecurity challenges instead of preventing the crimes that lead to conflict and insecurity.
“Governors spent so much money to quell security challenges with the security operatives not preventing them, they need to re strategise in their methods of tackling the impasse,” she said.
She said that there were needs for the governors to use their security funds judiciously to harness services of various bodies charged with peace building and conflict resolution and security watch groups to prevent crimes.
Uzodinma said that agencies charged with the responsibilities of peace building and crime watch were starved of funds and could not do much but suggested that the government should use part of their security funds to support these agencies for huge results.
She said the governors should support agencies who could reach out to the grass roots to enlighten them on the need to be peaceful and how to be a good neighborhood watch.
“Civil societies, National Orientation Agencies, human rights orgainsations, IPCR are the bodies that need funds to work very hard to ensure that crimes are prevented and peace achieved in the state.
“Peace is very paramount in the growth and development of any nation, therefore these groups need to be empowered to assist government in the capacity of preventing crime through factual reports on security issues and conflict resolutions.
She said that the government needs to have strong inter-agency programmes and capacity building for women organisations to be well trained on what to do to assist in preventing crimes and building peace.
She said that women need to be trained on early warning and early response and information gathering to enable them give out quality information to the government once they notice any wrong behavior instead of living in fear.
“If the women are well trained on what to do anytime they notice any attitude that is anti-progressives, they will play the role of pushing urgent information on any ill behaviors to relevant bodies.
“If the women, especially mothers are well informed, they would be in a position to question their children and relatives who engage in anti-social behaviors.
“The ability of the mothers to question the strange achievements of their children, would instill fears in their minds and make room for good behaviors of the young adult.
“Such checks would stop engagement of activities considered by government to be anti-development by the people, thereby enthroning sanity in the society,” she said.
Uzodinma said that IPCR was located across the country, as the Head, Peace building Zonal Office in the South East was domiciled in Anambra.
She said it was the duty of IPCR to partner the governor to achieve peace-building and conflict resolutions.
Uzodinma commended the governor for the strategy applied to tackle the security challenges of the state and urged him to partner IPCR and related agencies to achieve resounding successes in areas of peace-building and insecurity fallout.
Dr Paschal Agbodike, Deputy Speaker, Anambra State house of Assembly, representing Ihiala II Constituency, urged all agitators for Biafra to embrace the way of peace so that their goal would be achieved on the table of dialogue.
Agbodike said that the zone had suffered lots of economic and social development problems since the struggle started in August 2021 and that nothing meaningful would be achieved on the grounds of war.
He commended the governor for his all-inclusive leadership and appealed for its sustenance so that the state and other states in the south east would experience lasting peace and return back to its normal business life.
Mr Chris Azor, Chairman, Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) and Co-Chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP), said that he was happy for the active participation of the group in the security and Peace building Summit, hosted by the governor.
Azor said that the event was borne as a result of civil society pressure to have the state government embrace dialogue as an imperative means of finding a lasting solution to the current insecurity in Anambra and indeed the entire Southeast.
“The civil society is of the opinion that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), should be released on bail to enable more discussions and lasting settlement.
“We are also of the view that the southeast should be given the opportunity to produce the next president of Nigeria for Justice and equity.
“The civil war cannot be said to have truly ended, when an Igbo man cannot have the opportunity to lead Nigeria, since the end of the civil war,” she said.
“She implored the state government to institutionalize Social Protection and security, as there is currently no social protection policy in the State.
“Retirees don’t get pension as and when due. Old people and youth without employment are not catered for. Citizens are not ready to die for the state and country.
“There is need for good governance, transparency and accountability, consultative and inclusive Permanent Dialogue Mechanism, and engagement with citizens.
“The Government needs to partner with civil society and Non State Actors for growth and sustainable development,” Azor said.
Mrs Franca Nwigbo, President General of Nawfia community in Njikoka Local Government Area, who was in attendance, said that the idea of the governor to call all stakeholders irrespective of the political parties was amazing.
Nwigbo said that the governor’s all-inclusive style and dialogue leadership skills would yield progressive results on security and conflicts resolutions.
Mr Cyprian Okereke, the Chairman of Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra, pledged his support to ensure that normalcy in education, work and business returns in full in the state.
“Force can never achieve any better results in human management,” he said.
He commended the ability of the governor to apply wisdom in handling the insecurity challenges of the state.