Tony Okafor, Awka The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, on Monday told the Anambra State Police Command not to concentrate its fight against crime in the urban areas of the state. Achebe asked the police to do grassroots policing in order to catch those he called ‘small rat’ criminals before they would become monsters […]
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Tony Okafor, Awka

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, on Monday told the Anambra State Police Command not to concentrate its fight against crime in the urban areas of the state.

Achebe asked the police to do grassroots policing in order to catch those he called ‘small rat’ criminals before they would become monsters in society.

He said it would be self-deceit to believe that criminals were only seen in the urban areas.

The Onitsha monarch stated this during the inauguration of Eminent Persons’ Forum at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State.

Achebe, who spoke through a member of his cabinet, Chief B.O. Adibo, said the urchins operating in villages would graduate to big-time kidnappers and armed robbers in the future if not properly handled.

He said, “There are many of these ‘small rat’ criminals in most Anambra communities. They rape, they maim, they snatch people’s bags and things like that.

“Don’t overlook this small rats, because if they become big rats, there will be problems here. They are many in our communities. You better go for them now”, the monarch said.

A former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, commended the initiative of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on grass-roots policing.

He described the initiative as laudable, saying, “It is something that has been preached for a long time. This time, it’s being configured in such a way that the work of crime prevention is not being left for the police alone.

“With the involvement of community leaders, members of the community and local vigilantes, it will optimise the task of crime prevention.”

The state Governor, Willie Obiano, who was represented on the occasion by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, noted that security was important for meaningful investment.

He described the IGP’s initiative as a wonderful idea, adding that the public should avail the police with credible information to optimize their work.

He said “The Police are seen not with the best of intentions in society, but they cannot be our perpetual enemies. We should see them as our friends; that is the only way they can work harder to protect our lives and property.”

In his remark, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Sam Okaula, said, “Eminent Persons Forum was one of the pillars of IGP in the realisation of the need to carry the people along in policing a complex society such as ours.”

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