‘Akwa Ibom Needs More Gun Boats To Fight Piracy’

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Police Command has appealed to the House Committee on Youths, Sports and Security to make recommendations to the state government to provide the force with more gun boats to enable them fight piracy within the state territorial waters.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Gabriel Achong, made the plea when the Committee visited the Command on a fact-finding mission.
Achong promised that the command has declared total war against pirates operating within the riverine communities in the state, hinting that the commissioners of police under zone 6 have also met to strategise ways to end piracy activities within the territorial water of the South-South Region and beyond.
The commissioner also called on the affected Communities of Effiat Mbo and others in Oron local government areas to provide the force with useful information that may lead to the arrest of criminals in the area.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Victor Udofia, said the committee was in his office on a fact-finding visit over the recent cases of piracy around the territorial waters of the state. Udofia who was accompanied with the deputy chairman of the committee, Mr. Nse Essien and two other members from Mbo and Ikot Abasi state constituencies, expressed displeasure over the renewal of activities of militants operating within the waterways which has led to molestation of fishermen and women and death of two security personnel from the police and customs service.
He also assured the commissioner that the outcome of the visit will be reported back to the leadership of the House and necessary steps will be taken to assist the security agencies to fight security challenge around the regional territorial waters. In the same vein, Divisional Police Commissioner in Ukanafun local government has said there is no hiding place for criminals in the area.
The DPO, a Superintendent of police, Friday Mkpa, gave the assurance while addressing the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), held at the police Divisional Headquarters. He stated that the critical stakeholders like village heads, youth leaders and politicians have a duty to report suspected criminal activities in the area and called for maximum cooperation between the people and the police for effective community policing.
Mkpa said he has been meeting with motorcyclists and youth leaders for effective partnering for laudable results, adding that the division would leave no stone unturned in fighting crime and criminality.
While updating the members of PCRC of the security situation and challenges, he explained that crime wave has seriously reduced because of the frantic effort of the division which has about 87 villages to rout out crimes.
He lamented the lack of adequate funding of the relevant agencies and the local government which has frustrated some of their efforts in policing the area.
Earlier, the Chairman of PCRC in the area, Elder Namso Idiong had said membership of the committee is voluntary, but the privileges are numerous. He called for greater cooperation with the police for a secured environment as the police cannot work affectively without credible information to assist them in fighting crimes.
The chairman used the occasion to thank the police in the division for their determination in combating crime to the barest minimum. The state Public Relation officer for the PFRC, Dr. Victor Umoh said the committee was not lagging behind in its activities, and called on members in the division to show more commitment by attending area command and state meetings which take place every month.
Dr. Umoh further explained that one can only enjoy his wealth in a safe and secured environment and therefore called for continued assistance to the police by the people. The PRO then appealed to the PCRC members to be armed with the committee’s constitution so that they can be rooted in the nitty-gritting of the organization.

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