An advocacy group for the promotion of peace and good governance in Enugu State, Enugu Youths Coalition for Good Governance, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the immediate redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleiman Balarabe, “for lack of capacity and commitment to secure the state”.
The group, which frowned at the spate of crimes in the state since Balarabe assumed office as Enugu State Commissioner of Police, few weeks to the 2019 general election, said that the demand was borne out of their objective assessment of the performance of the police chief and the need to protect lives and property.
In a statement signed by its coordinator and secretary, Hon. Ikechukwu Ibeh and Engr. Jude Onyema, respectively, the advocacy group maintained that Enugu State has been peaceful and one of the safest states in Nigeria, expressing deep concern that “if something urgent is not done to rejig the security architecture of the state; our state’s enviable status will be jeopardized.”
They stated that the present cases of kidnapping, murder and other criminal activities being witnessed in the state were strange and a sign of failure on the part of the security agencies in the state, especially the police.
The group added that, “this recent ugly experience was never encountered in Enugu State in the past three years when the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danmallam Mohammed was in the saddle”.
The youth group also accused leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State of being responsible for the redeployment of the former CP out of the state prior to the elections and asked them to apply the same process to ensure the removal of the present CP on security basis, “because the police commissioner has failed our people and the security architecture in our dear state seems to have collapsed”.
“While things seem to be going wrong, the police commissioner who takes instruction from the federal government has not done much to address the security situation in this state. Rather, the CP seems to have relaxed and allowed His Excellency, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to do his work for him.
“Every day we see our governor in the media, moving from one forest to another, including security checkpoints, despite his exalted position, to identify hideouts of kidnappers and criminals and charge the security personnel to live up to their responsibilities, but the police chief in Enugu seems not to be bothered. He should go. We need a vibrant, experienced and committed Commissioner of Police in Enugu State,” the youth stated.
Commenting further on Gov. Ugwuanyi’s untiring efforts, the youth group stated that Enugu State is winning the war against crime, stressing that the new security strategies and measures introduced so far by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration are already yielding positive results.
The advocacy group said that they were impressed to note that “a kidnapped woman few days ago was rescued immediately and her vehicle recovered at the Military checkpoint newly mounted along Four Corner-Ozalla-Udi road at the instance of our governor, while the kidnappers were trying to flee with the victim to their hideout”.
The youth pointed out that the development was an indication that the governor’s recent efforts to weed out criminal elements and enhance security in the state are not in vein, insisting that the CP must go, in the overall interest of the state.