Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has issued guidelines to traditional rulers in the state on the implementation of a new proactive, effective, and efficient security architecture that will guarantee the security of lives and property in the respective communities in Imo.
The Governor told a gathering of the Monarchs on Monday in Owerri that the arrangement of the Community Policing Initiative was conceived by the Federal Government and to be implemented by the state, ward, and communities in the state.
It was also a day the governor dissolved the Imo State Traditional Council which he promised to reconstitute soon.
According to him, the Community Policing Initiative is a new comprehensive programme that seeks to uproot crimes from the grassroots, hence a burning passion of the State and Federal Governments to stamp out crimes in the country, particularly at the grassroots level.
“The arrangement is specifically to prevent crime, and abort criminal activities of all forms at the grassroot. The body will be established at each ward, community, LGA, Zonal level up to State,” the Governor explained.
He emphasized that the success of the initiative will depend completely on credible, suitable and reliable indigenes to man its operations, noting that the innovation is aimed at giving indigenes charge of security challenges in their communities with the guidance of the Nigerian Police. “Therefore such indigenes must be men and women of impeccable characters.”
The Governor, therefore, charged traditional rulers who are leaders of their respective communities to take responsibility as Chief Security Officers of their communities and get involved in the appointment of men and women of repute respected by other members of the community to be part of the arrangement.
He also enjoined Traditional Rulers to be involved in the selection and appointment of Town Union Presidents and members in their communities, tasking them to liaise with stakeholders and genuine leaders of their communities to conduct credible town union elections.
The Governor who said that the Town Union President will be held accountable for the security of their communities said the traditional rulers will be solely responsible for the success or failure of same community as regards security and leadership.
He said that traditional rulers will have no excuse for not nominating credible people, as the Community Policing Initiative is a well thought out programme aimed at eliminating crimes such as rape, banditry, burglary, armed robbery and kidnapping.
The Governor warned that failure on the part of the Monarchs to do the right thing is as good as self resignation by the traditional rulers. He advised traditional rulers to reside in their communities, insisting that “the era of Diaspora Eze has gone.”
Governor Uzodimma promised the monarchs a new welfare package that will enhance their status and make them concentrate on their assigned roles as custodians of culture and tradition.
He charged them to carry the good news of prosperity government home, informing them that he has done his best to pay all verified civil servants and pensioners their allowances and allowances, carried out some infrastructural projects and is making efforts to recover the destroyed original Owerri Master Plan.
On the position of the dissolved Eze Imo Council, the Governor said, when the COVID-19 pandemic abates, he will consult with stakeholders of the traditional institutions before reconstituting the State Council of Traditional Rulers. He assured that the reconstitution will be done soon
The Governor reiterated the need for peaceful coexistence among the traditional rulers and promised that at the end of the day the new Council, when put in place, will be to the benefit and satisfaction of all concerned.
He used the opportunity to inform the traditional rulers that the repeal of the CGC Law was for the benefit of the traditional institution in the state.
Some of the monarchs who spoke thanked the Governor for providing good leadership and for finding time to interface with the traditional rulers despite the COVID-19 challenge. They promised to work with the Governor to ensure that the security at the community is enhanced.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, Members of the State Executive Council and all recognized Traditional Rulers of the three Zones of the State.