Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo has drafted traditional rulers in the state into the battle against “unknown gunmen.”
Soludo directed them to revamp vigilance groups in the domains in order to contain hoodlums who have for months held the state by the jugular. The latest of the violence by “unknown gunmen” was last Friday when five persons lost their lives in Osumenyi, Nnewi South Local Government Area.
The governor, at a meeting with the monarchs and other stakeholders in Awka yesterday, stated that now was the time for them(traditional rulers) to take charge of the communities.
“Traditional rulers and presidents- general must take charge of their communities. You must re-examine and revamp your local vigilantes to forestall further breakdown of low and order.
“The culture of silence must stop. I’m sure you know the hoodlums and you must expose them on time before they strike.
“We must resurrect community participation and mobilise youths to take back our societies,” he said.
He also challenged youths to help security agencies with intelligence.
Soludo told the monarchs and the stakeholders that he had declared state of emergency on roads and other infrastructure in the state.
Stressing that he would make Anambra Dubai-Taiwan of Africa by first resurrecting Onitsha, which he described as the Obi of Ndigbo.
He restated his plan to bring down “houses blocking the river” in the commercial city, saying that the cooperation of all residents of the state was of utmost importance.
The governor said, “Today (yesterday) marks 49-days we assumed office. This is the second time we’re calling this meeting to keep you abreast on our commitment in transforming the state. We’ll call you again in 100-days.
“Our first duty is to resurrect Onitsha. Onitsha must rise, being the Obi of Ndigbo. Almost all gutters in the city are all filled up. Distilling of Sakamori has commenced. All houses blocking the river must come down.
“The presence of touts has pursued many businessmen away from the town. It’s difficult to find where to park to shop. But we assure you that shopping in Onitsha will become a pleasurable experience soon.”
Soludo promised continued consolidation of projects of his predecessor, Willie Obiano, despite paucity of funds.
While announcing the recruitment of teachers and health workers soon to make up for manpower shortages in public schools and hospitals, the governor promised to increase the “N20 million community- choose-your project initiative” of Obiano to N25million.
He also foreclosed further appointments, stressing that funds at his disposal could not afford for more.
Soludo added, “Every government policy must go down to the grassroots. Repairing Anambra will start from the communities, towns and villages.
“We’ll partner with those with private farms to assist us in producing enough palm oil and coconuts we can consume and export.”