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Restore Abia local vigilante groups – Anglican bishop

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Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia

Following the uncertainties that have enveloped the country most recently, the Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Ibeabuchi has called on Abia residents to be security-conscious and law-abiding.

In his presidential address at St. Mary’s Church, Ohokobe Ndume during the Year 2021 Synod of Anglican Communion, Umuahia Diocese, Ibeabuchi raised the alarm that nowhere was safe again, hence the need for the reactivation of local vigilante groups.

His words, “Following the high level of insecurity in our nation, nobody knows who is the next target including those in government. Our local and community vigilante groups should be reactivated to ensure that lives and properties are safe in the state. We encourage Abians to be law abiding and report all security threats to the appropriate quarters without neglecting to defend themselves in the face of terrorists and bandits.

“The truth is that a stitch in time saves nine. We appeal to government as a church to strengthen and empower our local vigilantes to work with our Home Land Security Agency to ensure that lives and properties are safe to the grassroots. Let us not take what is happening in the Northern part of Nigeria for granted. Right now, most of our forests are no longer safe. Community leaders, Religious leaders and Leaders of Town Unions must be co-opted to ensure safety in all corners of our state. We also support legislation on a coordinated South East Regional Security Outfit.”

The Anglican Bishop said, “As a church, we totally support the Abia state government on her stand concerning the Ruga policy or the open grazing of livestock including the water resources bill. We encourage those who are interested in livestock production to go into ranching. This is the best agricultural practice all over the world. The primitive method of cattle rearing must not be allowed to continue.”

While lauding the activities of the various security apparatus in the state, Bishop Ibeabuchi expressed his profound gratitude to God and to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the level of peace and security in Abia State, which he described as commendable.

Bishop Ibeabuchi said, “Despite the fact that there have been attacks here and there by unknown gun men, especially against men of the security forces, Abia state has remained peaceful. We appreciate our governor and his team for a work well done.”

The Anglican Bishop joined all the well-meaning South-easterners to commend the Governors of the region for responding positively to the current insecurity challenge in the region through the establishment of the EBUBE-AGU Regional Security outfit which is targeted against attacks by bandits and terrorists.

Bishop Ibeabuchi however advised that the outfit be used for “our security and not for our destruction and tearing apart.”

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