Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has expressed worry over the exclusion of the Southeast region in the security circle of Nigeria, even as he vowed to implement the anti open grazing law of the state.
“It’s worrisome that no one from the Southeast region of the country is leading any of the several outfits that make up the security architecture of Nigeria. While the Southeast region is a direct victim of the activities of criminal herdsmen and other sundry security challenges, nobody from the region is part of the highest decision making body when it comes to security”, the governor lamented.
Welcoming a delegation of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria (MCN), His Eminence Dr Samuel Kalu Uche at the Government House, Umuahia on Thursday, Ikpeazu assured the church and Abians that the move to implement the open grazing law in the state was in “response to the excesses of criminal herdsmen terrorizing our people and destroying our farmlands”.
He assured that “plans were underway to flush the criminal herdsmen from our forests”, even as he restated the commitment of his administration to the security of lives and property of Abians.
The chief executive stressed the need for Igbo youths to tread with caution in the prevailing security situations, pointing out that with resilience, dedication and the age-long Igbo apprenticeship mentorship system, Ndigbo will definitely lead in the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria.
The governor, who noted that Abians are known globally for their ingenuity and entrepreneurial skills, explained that the state has remained the SME capital of Nigeria. He therefore argued that no foreign direct investment will be recorded in the midst of insecurity.
On the performance of the Methodist Church in the spiritual upliftment of Nigerians, the Abia governor expressed confidence in the ability of The Methodist Church Nigeria to manage the physical, spiritual and mental upbringing of children, assuring the church of his administration’s readiness to partner with it in the academic development of Abia children.
Earlier in his speech, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Kalu Uche had said that he is an advocate of a Nigeria with true federalism, devoid of marginalization of any region.
The man of God regretted the level of marginalization of Ndigbo within the Nigerian political firmament and called for an additional state for the Southeast region in the ongoing Constitution review to enable the region be at par with other regions in number of states.
The Methodist Prelate, who also expressed support for the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors, condemned in its totality the wanton destruction of lives and property of Nigerians, especially Christians in the north.
He noted that he has been following the governor’s transformation projects with remarkable infrastructural facelift in Aba and other parts of the state.
Dr Kanu Uche later prayed for the governor and the state administration, even as he used the opportunity to present to Ikpeazu, member representing Umunneochi State Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Okey Igwe and the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, some copies of the Holy Bible.
The Prelate was accompanied by the Archbishops of Umuahia and Okigwe Archdioceses, Most Rev Chibuzo Opoko and Most Rev Emem John Koko Bassey, as well as the Bishops of Nneochi, Isuikwuato, Uturu and Ihube and their wives.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.