Criminals now hiding under freedom fighting to operate – Soludo
– Vows to bring IPOB, ESN, MASSOB, others to dialogue to end insecurity
Former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has promised to fight insecurity in the state and the south east through dialogue.
THE RAZOR NEWS had earlier reported that Soludo was at 9:49am on Thursday sworn in as the sixth governor of Anambra State.
Soludo was sworn in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu at the government house, Awka in a low profile ceremony.
The professor of econometrics while presenting his inaugural address after his swearing in, Soludo said: “My heart bleeds to see and hear about our youth dying in senseless circumstances. Every criminal gang-kidnappers, wicked murderers, arsonists, rapists, thieves- all now claim to be freedom fighters. Criminality cannot be sugarcoated. This must stop.
“All the stakeholders must now review both the narrative and the action plan. For starters, I endorse the recent statement (March 7, 2022) by the Joint Body of South East Council of Traditional Rulers and Bishops/Archbishops on Peace and Conflict Resolution, requesting for a tripartite discussion between them, The Presidency, and South East governors to deal with the conflicts in the South East especially in relation to Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“There is no conflict that dialogue, in good faith, cannot resolve. Our government is determined to urgently restore peace and security in Anambra, and we will seek the active cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders.”
Soludo told IPOB/ESN, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and other armed groups that it is time to interrogate both the purpose and means of their campaign.
He also warned politicians playing politics with the insecurity, that they are riding a tiger.
“The current trajectory is a road to desolation. Let us get around the table and talk. Let the elite in the closet come out, and let’s debate our future and forge a consensus. The conspiracy of silence by the elite and some community leaders must end.
“If you see something, say or do something! Securing Igboland and Nigeria must be our collective responsibility. Let those in the forests come out, surrender their guns and let’s work together to rehabilitate and empower you to contribute positively to the peace and prosperity of our homeland,” Soludo said.
On why his inauguration was a low key event, Soludo said: “Today is my first day at work. I just reported for duty and will work for at least eight hours. We had more than a month since the election to celebrate our historic victory. Now is the time to work, and there is no minute or kobo to waste in fanfare.
“In a few minutes, I will announce some of the principal officers of the administration, and commence with serious meetings of the Anambra State Security Council, followed by a meeting with the permanent secretaries, a meeting on Okpoko, and with my Strategy, Execution and Evaluation (SEE) team.
“Within the next one week, the list of commissioners will be laid before the House of Assembly. Tomorrow, we will head to Okpoko in Ogbaru Local Government Area and parts of Onitsha and Idemili as we signpost our commitment to fundamental urban regeneration, beginning with the greater Onitsha metropolis.
“I insisted that this event must not cost the government of Anambra one kobo. I would rather use such resources to lay the foundation stone for a public hospital at Okpoko or elsewhere or empower our security agents to fight criminality.
“Yes, there will be a time to celebrate. We will celebrate when: security of life and property is guaranteed and law and order restored; every child of schooling age is in school; every school child is receiving the 21st century education for the digital age.”