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Insecurity tales: Between reality and toxic hype in Anambra

By Christian ABURIME

The issue of insecurity is a global phenomenon, and today it is not the exclusive preserve of any society. Every nation has its share of security risks and breaches.

While responsible governments try their best to fulfill their constitutional primary responsibility of securing lives and property, no society in the world is ever totally safe.

In fact, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report, 6 in 7 people worldwide are plagued by feelings of insecurity. Also, the report further confirms that about 1.2 billion people live in conflict-affected areas, with almost half of them (560 million) in countries not usually considered to be fragile.

This means that, whether in the developed world or developing continents, vulnerability to insecurity is universal. Gun violence is an ever present threat in the US. Fatal stabbings are common in the UK. Terrorism abounds in the Middle East. Deadly crimes occur in Asia. South America has their drug cartel and mafia-related killings.

And most countries in Africa face diverse insecurity crises, including South Africa where crimes and killings are regular. But despite all the spate of insecurity across the developed societies, visitors, tourists and investors never cease travelling there; neither do their citizens badmouth their countries to the outside world.

This makes one wonder why when it comes to the case of Nigeria, some subversive elements are bent on disparaging their own state with exaggerated tales of insecurity, especially in Anambra State.

They have appointed themselves as town-criers of not good tidings, but of horror stories and pull-down-Anambra narratives just to make the government look bad. What a criminal indulgence!

Every day, insecurity rears its ugly head in different parts of Nigeria as daily reported in the news. For instance, banditry and kidnappings are daily tales in the North zone of the country. Weeks ago, five students of Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara State were kidnapped and yet to be released. Sectarian killings continue in Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Kogi and Benue.

Gallant Nigerian soldiers recently arrested some rail track vandals in Nasarawa, just as policemen lately engaged armed robbers in a gun battle in Gombe State. Abuja, the seat of power that should be supposedly most secure, is a theatre of kidnappings and stabbings.

Over the past weeks, there have been several reported incidents of fatal stabbings across Abuja, from Wuse II to Gwarimpa, Airport Road to Gwagwalada, and Utako to Jabi.

Coming down to the Southwest, the zone has its own share of insecurity crises. Armed robberies and ritual killings do occur in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and other states.

South-south and Southeast regions are not spared either.

In all of this, citizens of various states don’t indulge in mischievous hyping up of terrifying insecurity to discourage visitors and investors as some misguided few Anambra State’s own citizens do. And in spite of isolated incidents of violence and crime, Anambra State today can still be reckoned as one of the safest states in Nigeria.

The relative security in the state is not a mere coincidence, but rather the result of deliberate and concerted efforts by the Soludo-led government to continue to secure lives and protect property.

So, instead of campaign of calumny and pull-it-down syndrome by critics who never see anything good in their state, Anambra State government under the visionary leadership of Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, deserves commendation for its unwavering dedication to ensuring the security of lives and property within its jurisdiction.

The government has made substantial investments in law enforcement agencies, equipped them with modern technology, and provided adequate incentives to enhance their effectiveness.

Furthermore, the government has created an enabling environment for the security agencies to operate optimally, fostering collaboration and intelligence sharing among them.

However, as citizens of this remarkable state, it is crucial to recognize the responsibility we bear in maintaining the positive strides that Anambra State has made in other aspects.

We must refrain from indulging in the temptation to badmouth our own state or spread exaggerated stories of insecurity. While it is natural to discuss and address any security issues that may arise, let conversations be constructive and tend towards improvement.

We must discuss our security situation with caution and accuracy, avoiding the trap of sensationalism in social media platforms that could unjustly scare away visitors and investors.

As it is a universally acknowledged fact that no society is ever totally free from insecurity, the Anambra State government will continue to do all things possible to strengthen the state’s security architecture. And with Ndi Anambra providing their goodwill and support, fostering a healthy environment of positivity, the state will surely flourish under the protective wings of a proactive government led by Governor Soludo.

By so doing, we will attract the much-need development investments that will ultimately help in making Anambra a secure, livable, progressive and prosperous state we can all be proud of.

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