Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has linked the recent attacks on security facilities and agents in the South-east region to those who reasoned that the current federal government structures, especially the security architectures, are not capable of protecting them.
While vehemently condemning the attacks, he challenged President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to summon the courage to address the issues of injustice, marginalisation and imbalance perceived in the federal government structures.
Addressing some journalists at the weekend in Aba, the commercial hub of the state, the governor warned that the country can’t continue to sweep “smoldering fire under the carpet,” warning that the fire will continue to smolder until it explodes.
The entire South-east zone has in the past weeks experienced an upsurge in attacks aimed at security forces in violence that officials blamed on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group seeking the independence for the indigenous Igbo people.
Responding to the several attacks on security facilities and agents, the armed forces said recently that a joint operation was under way in the volatile region to flush out the criminals.
However, Ikpeazu stated that addressing perceived injustice and imbalance in the federal structures would go a long in dousing the security tension in the zone.
According to him, “I think the time has come for us in this country to dredge up sufficient courage to address the issues of injustice and imbalance perceived in our federal structures.
“We should address it because we can’t continue to sweep smoldering fire under the carpet; it will continue to smolder until it explodes. We have a window of opportunity to address this issue because they can’t be sorted out kinetically; social issues are not engineering problems.’’
Explaining the relatively peace in Abia State, Ikpeazu said the whole state had not experienced any case of bank robbery since 2015, attributing it to the ‘grace’ of God.
The governor added: “The challenge we have presently is that there are people who are not happy with some government institutions and some law enforcement agencies and personnel.
‘’But I know that the rumour of war and the potential rumour of violence are sufficient threat to equate insecurity, and when that happens, every other human needs to recede to the background.’’
Explaining different approaches he had deployed to tackle the security challenges, he said the state is currently deepening its intelligence gathering by setting up groups and individuals, including hunters, in the communities to alert the state of movement and presence of suspicious people around the communities.