Otti issues quit notice to criminals, launches ‘Operation Crush’
By Steve Oko
Governor Alex Otti has issued quit notice to criminals terrorising residents of Abia State .
He bluntly told them to either “leave the state in a hurry or be crushed”.
Wawa News Global reports that Gov. Otti issued the quit notice Tuesday while launching a special security operation against criminals on rampage in the state.
In the recent times, there has been a spike in criminality especially kidnaping and car thefts in parts of the state.
Otti during the launch of Operation Crush held at the event center at Okpara Square Umuahia, declared that “Abia will no longer share an inch of its land with criminals or their sponsors”.
According to him “security of lives and property is the primary responsibility of Government”, hence, his administration “will no longer watch criminal elements and their collaborators” make life unbearable for residents of the state.
” The goal of this special operation is to protect Abians against any form of insecurity. We will use the superiority of our force to clear and flush our criminals from their hideouts in any part of the state.”
Otti who entitled his speech at the launch “We Shall Not Give an Inch”, said that the special operation was a strong and coordinated response to the lingering insecurity in the state.
He recalled that he had during his inaugural speech, declared that there would be zero tolerance for insecurity in the state, hence the operation was in compliance with the declaration.
Otti frowned at the upsurge of crime in parts of the state especially Umunneochi- Isuikwuato axis, where according to him, bandits and criminals have declared war against the state.
He said that all those behind various forms of criminality in the state would be flushed out from “wherever they are hiding”.
Governor Otti who expressed pain over various attacks against innocent citizens in the state said he particularly considered the July 25 attack on the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Isaac Ukaegbu in Aba, an assault on the Government which would no longer be allowed.
“We shall no longer tolerate them. Never again! Criminals won’t have any space again in Abia territory.
” There is one of only two options: Either to leave the state in a hurry or be crushed with the one language that they understand. And that is the language of superior force!”
Gov. Otti said that security agencies in the state had his permission to smoke out and deal decisively with criminals disturbing the peace of residents.
He also said that the special operation would be after those who habour or provide protection for criminals.
” Crime offers no reward but regret and shame”, Otti declared.
He, however, cautioned security operatives against harassment of innocent citizens, warning that such overzealousness will not be condoned.
The Governor, in fact, warned that the heades of security agencies would be held liable for any excesses of their personnel involved in the special operation.
Otti who said that hotlines of the special operation would be made available to the public, pleaded with residents to help volunteer information about suspected criminals in their localities for prompt action.
The Governor later presented 20 branded Hilux patrol vans to security agencies including the Army, Police, Navy, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, involved in the special operation.
He promised continued support of his Government to security agencies for the good of all law-abiding citizens.
” We will support and protect all who mean well for the state”, he said, adding that “security is the foundation for enduring prosperity”.
Otti further said that the major preoccupation of his administration was how to make Abia the destination for investors.
Speaking on-behalf of Heads of security agencies in the state, the Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Kenechukwu Onwuemelie, thanked the Governor for his commitment towards improving security in the state.
He said that the Governor had demonstrated commitment towards ensuring security of lives and property of residents.
The Police boss commended Gov. Otti for giving priority to security matters, and promised on behalf of security agencies in the state to complement the Governor’s efforts.
” The Governor has been very supportive to security operations going on in the state since he came on board. We shall do our best to support him and ensure a peaceful and stable Abia state”.
Later in an interview, Special Advisers to the Governor on Security, Navy Commodore Macdonald Ubah (retd.), said the special operation would quell the upsurge of crime in the state.
He said that there would no longer be a safe ground for criminals in any part of Abia.
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