Coal city development initiative task Ugwuanyi on Forest Guard

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Coal City Development Initiative (CDI) has tasked the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to speed up the establishment of forest guard as agreed in the last South East Governors’ Forum.

This was stated yesterday by the chairman of the group, Dr. Odum Itodo, in a press statement signed by the group’s Public Relations Officer, Henry Afam, and made available to Daily Sun.

He said that the level of insecurity would discourage tourists and investors from the state.

Itodo said the last few months in the state have witnessed security situations, which were gory in outlook and dangerous in dimensions, adding that the need for the forest guard was immediate.

“The South East governors agreed to setup forest guards. While this is welcomed, its implementation should be immediate, and the guards must be adequately equipped with the technological aids to track down hoodlums. We commend the governor for summoning an emergency security meeting after the murder of Rev. Fr. Offu. The communiqué issued after the emergency security meeting in Enugu agreed to use air surveillance, forest guards, mop up of small arms and strengthening of vigilance groups. However, beyond the rhetoric spurred by the mood of the moments, these initiatives need to be implemented with the urgency they require. History has shown that government will relapse into slumber once nerves are calmed only to be jolted out of sleep again by another strike by the never relenting and seemingly organised criminals.

“The latest is the murder of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu in Awgu Local Government Area of the state on August 1, 2019. This is the second priest that has been murdered this year while another one escaped with bullet wounds last month. The life of a lecturer with Nnamdi Azikiwe University was also taken by gunmen while returning from a town union meeting.

“Apart from repetitive speeches which have become clichés, we are not aware of any template for securing lives and property of citizens of Enugu State. And if such template exists, the implementation is best reactive rather than proactive. The state government must be decisive at this period and institute legislations, frameworks, outfits and investigative mechanisms to combat crimes in the state. “First, the CDI recommends an outright legislation against open grazing in Enugu State as has been done in some states already. With the present situation, there’s urgent need for the state government to immediately reorganise and retrain the state vigilance groups to effectively serve the purpose of the present time,” he stated.