Aba residents seek police intervention over rising cults, robbery attacks
By Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba
Residents of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state have appealed to the state police command to deploy their personnel back to their duty posts to help secure the city and avoid lawlessness in the area.
They observed that absence of police in the commercial city, aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, has emboldened criminal elements to terrorise innocent citizens at liberty.
Consequently, cultists and robbers have taken over some parts of Aba, namely, Ndiegoro, Over-Rail and Ogbor-Hill axis of the city.
Residents of the mentioned areas lamented that cultists and criminals are rampaging their areas, breaking into homes, stealing valuables and most times, killing each other without restriction.
However, most residents lamented that Aba Area Command and majority of the Police Divisions in the city stopped responding to distress calls prior to the #EndSARS protest, a situation they claimed is worst now.
According to Mr. Kenneth Udemba, “Ogbor-Hill, where I reside is now criminals reserved area. How can this be happening and the police is saying they’re angry and therefore can’t respond to the plight of residents.
“I don’t understand. The society protested against them and did some unthinkable things against them, which I personally don’t support, but does that mean police work should stop? Even prior to the #EndSARS protest, police stopped visiting major crime prone areas in Aba”.
Dr. Lambert Ezeonwuka, a resident of Over-Rail appealed to the police to see Aba residents, as their people rather than enemies.
“I wonder what this country is turning into. Yes, some residents expressed their anger over police activities, which is normal, but I was not happy the way hoodlums attacked police officers and even killing two of them.
“However, it is not enough reason for police to decide to no longer work? What happens if the citizens that have suffered in the hands some criminal minded police officers, decide to no longer pay tax, because police is using guns purchased with our tax money, to intimidate and kill us?
“They’ve refused to work except protecting their barracks and they’re receiving salaries. Even some of them, who are still seen on the road, have not changed. They’ve improved their intimidation techniques and still have those bad attitudes that led to the protest.
“They now see Aba residents as enemies and at any little provocation, you’ll hear them shout, ‘I’ll fire you.’ This is not the kind of police we want. How can someone be in trouble and call police without response? Do they want every street to form vigilante? I beg them to have a rethink.
“Aba cannot survive or move forward with police officers, whose hearts are filled with revenge mission against the public. This type of policing I’m seeing now will not go far, before we’ll have another problem. Let them see us as their brothers and sisters.
“I urge the police authorities to quickly look into this situation or possibly transfer some of the officers here, because their minds are not at peace with the people. You can’t police a people with bitterness.”
For Mr. Chrysogonus Nzekude, who resides at Ndiegoro, it is incorrect and irrational to blame the manner in which activities of cultists and household robbers have become a daily routine on #EndSARS protest.
“It’s laughable that almost all the insecurity witnessed in this area now is being attributed to the #EndSARS protest. Prior to that protest, these things were happening. The Abia state police command has never been serious in places like Ndiegoro.
“I’ll not blame them alone, because our dilapidated roads are not helping their jobs, as well. But when police go to places where Marijuana joints and collect money and go without arresting anyone, what do you expect?
“Those boys are the cultists, they are the armed robbers and they have their men in the police who’ll always protect them. Again, last year we all heard how almost all the divisional police officers in Aba, complained about man power and equipment. Most of them don’t have patrol vans, and even when they have, the roads are bad.
“It is also on record that majority of our stations have many female police officers. I wonder who is posting them to Aba, and what they want to achieve with such. Female officers don’t go on patrol and they don’t go on night duties.”
He appealed to the state government to rehabilitate roads at Ndiegoro area of Aba, to open up the area and allow security operatives to have access to the areas and secure the people.