There is growing concern among residents of Aba and Umuahia metropolis over rising trends of insecurity in the cities in recent times. Though Abia state government has taken pro-active measures to reduce the spate of crime and criminality in the state with the shutdown of brothels in Umuahia and in limiting the activities of commercial tricycle operators to 7 pm, however, it appears a permanent solution to the menace of crime is still not at sight.
Within the week, reports of armed robbery attacks in Aba dominated the news media particularly the shooting and killing of a former football star, Christian Jacob in front of his house at Umuola Road, Ogbor Hill Aba by armed robbers on Wednesday May 8th. Also during the weekend, one Ngozi Alozie was kidnapped by gun men at Opobo area of Aba. The Police said it later recovered the victims Sienna mini bus. In isiala-ngwa North, a top official Nwachukwu Okechikwu was abducted by gun men and in the process one Ebere was hit by stray bullet.
The Police said investigation has commenced on the incident that led to the killing of the late footballer, after depositing the body at the mortuary. At the time of filing this report no arrest has been made by the police. The deceased ex-footballer had been away for some time before reappearing in Aba some days back to meet his untimely death. One report has it that the deceased was killed by armed robbers, while another said it was hired assassins.
Abia residents have decried the renewed spate of robbery and insecurity in the state, especially coming on the heels of claims by the Commissioner of Police in Abia that the spate of crime and criminality have drastically reduced in the state.
Commenting on the rising spate of insecurity in the state and the shooting of the ex-footballer, Cyril Okey a resident said ‘’this is one of us, a great player to behold during his playing days. Now look at what insecurity in Aba has caused. This is a big loss to the football family’’.
A prominent on air personality, Crystal Jane Cosmos wrote in her time-lime that ‘’crime rate in Aba is obviously increasing with sad news of robbery and murder making rounds on the social media each passing day.
However, the Abia State Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, SP Ogbonna Geofrey, told News Critic in his office that anyone talking about escalation of insecurity in the state should be able to back it up with statistics. He spoke against the backdrop of reported robbery attacks at Abayi Aba and Ogbor Hill, and also the robbery attack at a BetNaija office located at Aba.
He said that with available records, crime has drastically reduced in the state both in Aba and elsewhere. He disclosed that the reduction in crime rate is as a result of strategies and measures that are being put in place. According to the PPRO, the operation Puff Adder launched in Aba is active and yielding results together with other measures which have been put in place.
Ogbonna also said that the government decision to shut down brothels in Umuahia is a good policy because it serve as possible hideout for criminals to stay and execute their mission. ‘’You can see what is happening in Abuja, if there is no link with crime government can’t wake up and stop their activities.
‘’Just like Keke operators, when it was noticed that criminals use Keke to commit such crime like snatching bags the state government has to limit their operations till 7pm. Residents should be patience, it’s a pro-active measure put in place to protect lives and properties in the state. It’s not meant to suffer the people’’, he explained.